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Research Group on Blood Transfusion

Age of Blood Evaluation (ABLE) Trial on the Outcome of Adults Treated in Intensive Care.

Laboratory studies and a few observational studies have raised the possibility that prolonged storage of red blood cells could adversely affect clinical outcome. In addition, there are no practical or scientific clinical data that demonstrate that red blood cells stored over a lengthy period of time remain effective oxygen transporters and do not adversely affect vulnerable patients who need blood transfusions.

In this randomized clinical trial that includes more than 30 sites in Canada and Europe, 2,510 critically ill adults, for whom a red blood cell transfusion has been prescribed, will be randomized to receive either blood stored for up to 7 days or blood distributed according to routine procedure (i.e., blood stored on average for 20 days).

Main Objectives

Compared with blood distributed according to the usual procedure, the investigators plan to determine whether blood stored for up to 7 days:

  • reduces 90-day all-causes mortality resulting in a 5% absolute risk reduction;
  • reduces mortality, in the hospital and in intensive care, at 28 days and 6 months;
  • reduces severity of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS);
  • reduces serious nosocomial infections;
  • reduces intensive care and hospital length of stay.

Particular attention will be paid to transfusion reactions. Ancillary studies are currently ongoing.

  • Principal Investigator of the Study: Dr. Jacques Lacroix
  • Investigator at CHU Sainte-Justine: Dr. Jacques Lacroix
  • Source of funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR); Établissement Français du Sang (EFS); Programme hospitalier de recherche clinique (PHRC); National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme (NIHR HTA); Sanquin Blood Supply
  • Study Design: Randomized clinical trial
  • Expected Number of Participants: 2,510


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Updated on 10/8/2014
Created on 10/8/2014
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