January 22, 2014

Although blood transfusion can improve outcomes and be a life saving product, it is not always administered appropriately for the right indication and/or in the right dose.

Many patients are not aware of the risks of blood transfusions:

• Blood transfusion introduces a foreign substance into the body

• Blood transfusion is a liquid transplant

• Transfusion Associated Circulatory Overload

• Transfusion Related Immune Modulation

• Reactions–Acute and Delayed (Allergic, Sepsis)

• Transfusion Related Acute Lung Injury

• Mistransfusion – Human Error

• Transfusion Transmitted Diseases (HIV, Hepatitis)

Blood transfusions can increase a patient's length of stay in the hospital and increase the cost of care.

CAMC's patient blood management program was designed to improve patient outcomes by reducing and/or avoiding blood transfusions entirely.

This program is a collaborative medical approach that takes into account each patient's medical and surgical needs.

Conserving a patient's own blood minimizes the need to receive donated blood.

Collaboratively doctors, nurses and other hospital staff consider other treatment options to reduce the need for transfusions. These include the use of medications, evidence-based techniques to minimize blood loss during a medical or surgical procedure and the latest technology to determine the need for a blood transfusion.

Managing a patient's blood involves the patient working with the team who will be providing the care. The process begins before the patient comes to the hospital, continues during hospitalization and follows the patient even after discharge from the hospital.

The benefits of not performing a transfusion can include a faster recovery for the patient, minimized risk of blood-borne diseases, reduced stress on the patient's immune system and decreased risk of infection after surgery.

The patient blood management goals are to improve patient outcomes, respect the request of patients who do not want blood products of any form and educate medical professionals in how patient blood management can improve outcomes for all patients.

CAMC wants to improve the appropriate use of blood and blood products and offer the choice of bloodless health care to both medical and surgical patients.

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