Researchers from Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, and NYU Langone Medical Center have endorsed recommendations for blood transfusions that reduce blood use to improve patient safety and outcomes, according to an article in JAMA Internal Medicine.
As defined by existing guidelines and the clinical trials reviewed, the report reinforces these recommendations:
- Stable adult patients, including critically ill patients, with hemoglobin levels of 7 g/dL or higher should not be transfused.
- Patients undergoing orthopaedic or cardiac surgery, or patients with underlying heart disease with hemoglobin levels of 8 g/dL or higher should not be transfused.
- Patients who are stable and not actively bleeding should be transfused with a single unit of blood and then reassessed.
“In summary, there is no benefit in transfusing more blood than necessary and some clinical trials actually show harm to patients,” says Steven Frank, MD, professor of anesthesiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “All this does is increase risks and cost without adding benefit,” he adds.