Transfusion in children with acute respiratory distress syndrome

Tine François, Guillaume Emeriaud, Oliver Karam, Marisa Tucci


Transfusion is a frequent treatment in pediatric patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (PARDS) although evidence to support transfusion decision-making is lacking. The purpose of this review is to review the current state of knowledge on the issue of transfusion in children with PARDS and to detail the possible beneficial effects and potential deleterious impacts of transfusion in this patient population. Based on the current literature and recent guidelines, a restrictive red blood cell (RBC) transfusion strategy (avoidance of transfusion when the haemoglobin level is above 7 g/dL) is indicated in stable patients without severe PARDS, as these were excluded from the large trials. In children with severe PARDS, further research is needed to determine if factors other than the haemoglobin level might guide RBC transfusion decisionmaking by better characterizing the presence of low oxygen delivery (DO2). Additionally, appropriate indications for prophylactic transfusion of hemostatic products (plasma or platelets) in children with PARDS are lacking.