Who Needs Patient Blood Management?

Everyone can benefit from Patient Blood Management.

Typically, blood transfusions have been given to patients who experience significant blood loss associated with acute illness or injury, and to patients who undergo certain types of major surgery. In addition to injury, other causes of blood loss include gastrointestinal bleeding, gynecological and obstetrical bleeding, vascular bleeding from a ruptured aneurysm. Bleeding may occur during surgery (perioperative bleeding). Acute hemorrhage can occur in trauma patients who may require surgical intervention to control bleeding in addition to receiving transfusions to replace red blood cells that have been lost. Patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy may also need blood transfusions.

Blood transfusions are often avoidable with Patient Blood Management (PBM). In addition, anemia should be treated whether there is risk for transfusion or not and anemia treatment is a corner stone of PBM. Minimizing blood loss inside the hospital should be part of everyone’s care.

The ability to transfuse blood is dependent upon a safe and ready supply of blood. Blood collection organizations are a vital link in this process. EMMC receives its supply of blood from American Red Cross through blood donated by healthy volunteers. If a transfusion is considered, the doctor should discuss the potential risks, benefits, and alternatives with you first, as part of an informed consent.  A common cause of transfusion today is blood loss from surgery. As many as 45 percent of patients have preoperative anemia. Pre-existing anemia increases a patient’s risk for needing a transfusion during or after surgery. An important part of blood management is identifying and treating pre-operative anemia. Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia in the pre-operative setting, but there are other causes as well.

Learn more about iron-deficiency anemia