• Coagulation and need for postoperative blood and plasma therapy were studied in 94 injured patients requiring massive transfusions (average = 14.4); 46 patients, by random selection, received supplemental albumin. Albumin therapy increased total protein concentration (6.4 vs 5.8 g/dL), serum albumin level (4.2 vs 2.9 g/dL), and plasma volume (3,895 vs 3,579 mL) but not RBC volume (1,520 vs 1,530 mL). During the initial five postoperative days, patients receiving albumin required more transfusions (7.1 vs 3.8) and plasma (455 vs 317 mL). This increased need for blood and plasma correlated with a significant decrease in fibrinogen (238 vs 405 mg/dL) and prolongation of the prothrombin time (2.6 vs 1.4 seconds). The partial thromboplastin time was prolonged and the platelet concentration was decreased in albumin-treated patients, but not significantly. Deficiencies in specific coagulation factors have not yet been identified but are being studied. Impaired coagulation is another potential hazard of supplemental albumin therapy, which is probably contraindicated in injured patients.
(Arch Surg 114:379-383, 1979)