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In this article, we describe how we developed and validated key performance indicators (KPIs) for pre-hospital blood transfusion and offer suggestions for other organisations wishing to develop performance metrics. KPIs are metrics that compare actual care against an ideal structure, process or outcome standard. An increasing number of UK-based pre-hospital critical care services now carry blood components to enable pre-hospital blood transfusion. A working group of pre-hospital physicians and paramedics was formed to create and validate performance indicators that reflected a high-quality pre-hospital transfusion. This was performed by literature searching and reviewing consensus documents that guide the best practice and then adjusting the indicators as the process evolved. Throughout the year, the performance against the domains was monitored monthly and outputs communicated within the clinical staff of the organisation; at the end of the year, the domains were amended. The final list of performance indicators was as follows: (a) rationale for transfusion documented in the notes; (b) rationale for transfusion in line with Thames Valley Air Ambulance blood transfusion guideline; (c) aggressive management of hypothermia; (d) tranexamic acid administered within an hour of injury; (e) evidence of bleeding in hospital; (f) monitoring of adverse effects of blood transfusion; (g) overall-was the use of blood justified; and (h) no units wasted this month. This study has shown that it is feasible to devise and implement clinical performance indicators for pre-hospital blood transfusion and that their use has increased the focus on this important area. © 2020 British Blood Transfusion Society.


James Raitt, Nicola Curry, Pip Lewis, James Dearman, Kurtis Poole, Dhushy Surendra Kumar. Developing clinical performance indicators for pre-hospital blood transfusion: The Thames Valley Air Ambulance approach. Transfusion medicine (Oxford, England). 2020 Apr;30(2):134-140

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PMID: 32149431

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