Reduce Transfusions: Reduce Risks and Cost

CHICAGO, Oct. 11 (UPI) — Reducing blood transfusions helps improve patient safety and saves money, a U.S. researchers suggests.

Dr. Phillip DeChristopher, medical director of Transfusion Medicine, Blood Bank and Apheresis at Chicago-area Loyola University Hospital, says the hospital has dropped the average amount of blood products transfused from 2.03 units per patient in 2008 to 1.82 units per patient in 2009. The change has helped put patients at less risk of unintended circumstances of blood transfusion, DeChristopher says.

“The more you transfuse, the higher you put patients at risk for unintended consequences,” DeChristopher says in a statement. “Blood products are a vital community resource, and we need to be good stewards. The less blood we use, the more patients benefit, and the less strain we put on the blood supply.”

DeChristopher and colleagues conducted a study that found the average amount of blood products transfused per Loyola patient was 10 percent lower in 2009 than it was in 2008, resulting in a savings of $453,355.

The Loyola Blood Management Program included educating doctors and nurses, using evidence-based protocols and having operations overseen by a Blood Utilization Review Committee.

The study findings were reported at the annual meeting of the College of American Pathologists in Chicago.

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