Transfusion-associated circulatory overload (TACO) is a serious complication of transfusion and an important differential diagnosis of transfusion-associated lung injury. TACO accounts for significant transfusion-related mortality, causing about 15% of all transfusion-related mortality reported in the US.

In the present retrospective claims-based study, the occurrence of TACO and potential risk factors were analyzed among 2,147,038 inpatient transfusion stays for US elderly in 2011. The overall rate of TACO was 62.4 per 100,000 stays. TACO rates increased significantly with age and units transfused.

The study identified a large number of TACO cases. The study results show the need for greater awareness of TACO by physicians and for additional population-based clinical investigations of TACO risk factors.

– Rainer Moog