Systematic reviews are accepted as a robust and less biased means of appraising and synthesizing results from high-quality studies. This report collated and summarized all the systematic review evidence relating to the diagnosis and management of trauma-related coagulopathy and transfusion, thereby covering the widest possible body of literature. We defined 4 key clinical questions: (1) What are the best methods of predicting and diagnosing trauma-related coagulopathy? (2) Which methods of clinical management correct coagulopathy? (3) Which methods of clinical management correct bleeding? and (4) What are the outcomes of transfusion in trauma? Thirty-seven systematic reviews were identified through searches of MEDLINE (1950-July 2010), EMBASE (1980-July 2010), The Cochrane Library (Issue 7, 2010), National Guidelines Clearing House, National Library for Health Guidelines Finder, and UKBTS SRI Transfusion Evidence Library ( The evidence from the systematic review literature was scanty with many gaps, and we were not able to conclusively answer any of our 4 questions. Much more needs to be understood about how coagulopathy and bleeding in trauma are altered by transfusion practices and, most importantly, whether this translates into improved survival. There is a need for randomized controlled trials to answer these questions. The approach described in this report provides a framework for incorporating new evidence.

Original publication




Journal article


Transfus Med Rev

Publication Date





217 - 231.e2


Algorithms, Blood Coagulation Disorders, Blood Transfusion, Evidence-Based Practice, Humans, Practice Guidelines as Topic, Review Literature as Topic, Wounds and Injuries