Table 3

Codes relating to uncertainty theme

SubthemeCodeInterviews (n)Frequency (n)
Uncertain diagnosisFew pre-hospital diagnostic aids for major bleeding1031
Haemorrhage mimics can confuse diagnosis822
Difficult to prognosticate819
Need to compile information and make a global assessment89
Differentiating minor bleeding from major bleeding713
Haemodynamic assessment maybe misleading617
Fallibility of haemodynamic parameters616
Clinical examination is not 100% accurate67
Individual patient variability515
Clinical unknowns relating to the patient (eg, extent of their injury)412
Uncertain intervention effectImmediate effect of a given intervention
Benefit of transfusion (includes clotting, oxygen delivery, perfusion, preload)952
Weighing up benefit and harm916
Risks of transfusion (includes dilution, increased BP, immunological effects, BBV, VTE, metabolic)517
Recognition of threshold variation between clinicians when to start transfusion57
Future effect of a given intervention
Transfusion mitigates future pathological states (eg, TIC/MODS)68
Blood transfusion improves patient’s physiological state in moderate bleeding patients33
No perceived effect of a given intervention
Rapid transport to hospital is key46
  • ‘Interviews’ refers to the number of interviews in which a code was identified. ‘Frequency’ refers to a count of each code in every interview.

  • BBV, bloodborne virus; MODS, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome; TIC, trauma-induced coagulopathy; VTE, venous thromboembolism.