Blood management is an evidence-based, multidisciplinary process that is designed to promote the optimal use of blood products throughout the hospital. Blood management is distinct from the concept of bloodless medicine, which is a programmatic approach to dealing with a small subset of patients that refuse blood transfusions. Blood management is also a broader and more appropriate term than blood conservation, which can imply rationing in response to blood shortages, thereby limiting the scope, acceptance and sustainability of hospital efforts. The goal of blood management is to ensure the safe and efficient use of the many resources involved in the complex process of blood component therapy. These resources extend well beyond blood products and include nursing time, technologist time, medical supplies, medical devices, laboratory tests, pharmaceuticals, hospital beds and healthcare dollars.
There is a growing national interest in the development of hospital blood management programs to promote appropriate blood utilization and to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of blood component therapy. The cornerstones of blood management programs are the implementation of evidence-based transfusion guidelines to reduce variability in transfusion practice, and the employment of multidisciplinary teams to develop, implement and monitor local blood management strategies.
Boucher, BA, Hannon, TJ. Pharmacotherapy. 2007;27(10):1394-1411
Blood transfusions are common in the hospital setting. Despite the large commitment of resources to the delivery of blood components, many clinicians have only a vague understanding of the complexities associated with blood management and transfusion therapy. The purpose of this primer is to broaden the awareness of health care practitioners in terms of the risks versus benefits of blood transfusions, their economics, and alternative treatments. By developing and implementing comprehensive blood management programs, hospitals can promote safe and clinically effective blood utilization practices. The cornerstones of blood management programs are the implementation of evidence-based transfusion guidelines to reduce variability in transfusion practice, and the employment of multidisciplinary teams to study, implement, and monitor local blood management strategies. Pharmacists can play a key role in blood management programs by providing technical expertise as well as oversight and monitoring of pharmaceutical agents used to reduce the need for allogeneic blood.
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Make Blood Management a Quality Priority for 2013June 27, 20132PM ET
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