BACKGROUND: In contrast to decreasing red blood cell (RBC) consumption in Finland, the use of fresh-frozen plasma (FFP) has been increasing since the 1990s, suggesting that FFP use may not always be optimal. To improve transfusion practices, knowledge of current FFP use and regional, national, and international comparison is necessary.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Nine (of 21) Finnish hospital districts participated. Data concerning FFP-transfused patients in the years 2002 and 2003 were collected from existing computerized medical records into a yearly updated database as part of a Finnish benchmarking project on blood component use.
RESULTS: Data included 11,590 FFP-transfused patients and 60,240 FFP units (71.2% of Finnish FFP use) delivered to Finnish hospitals during the study period. FFP was transfused most often to surgery patients (62.8% of FFP transfusion hospital visits) with blood circulatory system problems (32.3% of surgically treated and FFP-transfused patients). In only 65.9 percent of FFP-transfused patients were coagulation variables measured at any point in the hospital episode, and FFP was usually transfused in paired doses. Mean FFP use in Finland is comparable to other countries.
CONCLUSION: Although overall FFP use in Finland is similar to that of international figures, it does not ensure best practice. Perioperative staff, being the largest FFP user, should be encouraged to dose FFP based on coagulation variables and body weight. Improvement efforts should be directed to patient groups transfused with large amounts of FFP.