Adding “insult to Injury” – The Effect of fresh and aged blood to oxygenation metabolisms and organ function in a clinically relevant trauma/sepsis model.

Does age of the transfused blood matter in acutely ill patients with trauma and infection?


Lay Summary

The World Health Organization reports that trauma will be the major contributor to the 49.7 million annual deaths globally from non–communicable disease in 2020. Trauma and sepsis are the two leading causes of death worldwide. This project aims to examine the effects of trauma and severe infection on oxygen supply to various tissues and organs.
We will study what infection does to metabolism and the degree of inflammation in these tissues. The effects of resuscitation on these tissue parameters while using stored and fresh blood will also be studied.

This study is highly relevant as blood transfusion is being increasingly implicated for many adverse events in acutely ill patients with multiple organ failure following trauma and/or severe infection. This will be achieved by inducing severe trauma, infection and inflammation in a monitored, anesthetised animal in the presence of intensive care specialists, emergency medicine specialists, senior nurses and research personnel highly trained in handling large animals.
Sophisticated microcatheters will be inserted into heart, lungs, skeletal muscle, brain, liver and kidneys to observe the changes at a tissue level. The sophisticated tissue monitors will not only capture changes as they happen but also study the effects of resuscitation on various organs.


Despite major advances in resuscitation and supportive care, organ failure is a major cause of ongoing morbidity and not uncommonly results in death. By shedding light on the causation of organ failure in this population we will be addressing one of the major priorities in emergency care. Emergency and Critical Care Departments are two of the largest users of blood in Queensland. This project will help us rationalise the use blood and other fluids for the treatment of shock in a population that is already compromised by systemic inflammation. In the longer term, we hope that the results from this study will pave the way for clinical guidelines for transfusion in patients with trauma and severe infection.


Poster Presentation
Milford EM, Simonova G, Tung JP, Reade MC, Fraser JF. The development of a cryopreserved sheep red blood cell protocol for use in sheep models of trauma. Remote Damage Control Resuscitation Symposium. 22nd – 24th June 2015. Bergen, Norway.


Amount Awarded


Grant Scheme


Principal Investigator:
Dr Andrew Staib

Co Investigators:
Dr Yoke Lin Fung
Prof John Fraser
A/Prof Kiran Shekar
Prof Michael Reade
A/Prof Michelle Chew
Dr John-Paul Tung
Mr Charles McDonald

Associate Investigators:
Dr James Collier
Ms Sara Diab
A/Prof Adrian Barnett
Mr Kimble Dunster


Collaborating Institutions

CONTACT US +61 7 3720 5700 2/15 Lang Parade Milton Qld 4064