Blood products: when to use them and how to avoid them
Refresher Course Outline — Saturday, June 18 Track II
Cite this article as: Hardy, J., Belisle, S. & Robitaille, D. Can J Anaesth (1994) 41: R52. doi:10.1007/BF03009962 Conclusion
Despite the complications associated with transfusions,
HBP remains an essential therapeutic modality, without which many major surgical procedures would be impossible. Clinicians must realize that transfusion of HBP is the most frequent transplantation of living tissue between humans. Even if known infectious complications could be eliminated, transfusion of HBP will never be a totally safe procedure. New transfusion-related complications, the magnitude of which is unknown, such as graft-vs-host disease in immunocompetent patients, have emerged recently. Other, as yet unidentified, pathogens will undoubtedly be transmitted by HBP in the future.
A number of strategies exist that can reduce, and sometimes abolish, the need for
HBP. Unfortunately, some of these may remain unavailable to our patients because of financial constraints on the Canadian health care system. Nonetheless, physicians must always keep in mind that the first and foremost strategy to avoid transfusion of HBP is their thorough understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in anaemia and coagulopathy, and their thoughtful adherence to published guidelines for the practice of transfusion. 7,11–13,17 Download to read the full article text References
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