Three Reports Discuss Issues Surrounding Blood Transfusion

Best practices for transfusion, alternatives to blood, management of blood supply discussed

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FRIDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Best practices for blood transfusion, alternatives to allogeneic transfusion, and challenges involved in management of blood supply are discussed in a series of reports published in the May 25 issue of The Lancet.

In one report, Laurence T. Goodnough, M.D., from Stanford University in California, and colleagues discuss best transfusion practices among adults. The researchers note that there is considerable variability in transfusion outcomes in some clinical settings, such as for patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery. This could be due to inadequate understanding of published guidelines and distinct recommendations of medical societies. A restrictive approach to blood transfusion is increasingly being implemented as best practice, based on institutional experience and national databases.

In a second report, Donat R. Spahn, M.D., from the University Hospital of Zurich, and Goodnough discuss alternatives to allogeneic blood transfusion. The authors suggest that use of blood alternatives will be driven by cost and outcomes. Alternatives currently being investigated include autologous blood procurement, erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, and hemostatic agents. In a third report, Lorna M. Williamson, M.D., from the National Health Service Blood and Transplant in Watford, U.K., and Dana V. Devine, Ph.D., from the Canadian Blood Services in Vancouver, describe the challenges surrounding management of blood supply, which is expected to be in greater demand in developed countries in the next five to ten years due to the needs of the ageing populations.

"Strategies on how to best use blood products, and the development of processes to improve the quality of blood products will make blood transfusion a safer and more effective treatment," Williamson and Devine write.

The authors of the second report and one author from the third report disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract - Report 1
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Abstract - Report 2
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Abstract - Report 3
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