Ricardo P. Dorantes, BS; Stylianos Voulgarelis, MD; Harvey J. Woehlck, MD
Introduction: Massive transfusion may cause ionized hypocalcemia, a complication that, when severe, causes hemodynamic instability. Extant literature fails to provide effective guidance on replacement strategies to avoid severe ionized hypocalcemia in the most extreme situations.
Case Presentation: We discuss a liver transplant in which our empiric calcium replacement strategy resulted in no critically low ionized calcium values during the pre-reperfusion phase of a liver transplant with over 140 000 mL of bank blood transfusion, with an average of 10 000 mL per hour for 14 hours.
Discussion: Few comparable reports exist. Most rely upon monitoring with subsequent replacement, but these have not been effective at avoiding severely low ionized calcium values.
Conclusions: Our empiric calcium replacement strategy of 1 gram of calcium chloride per liter of citrated bank blood transfused, in 200 mg/200 mL increments, resulted in successful maintenance of ionized calcium during the anhepatic phase of liver transplantation while on continuous veno-venous hemofiltration.