The move in recent years toward more restrictive transfusion policies and practices has been fueled by increased recognition of untoward side effects of transfusions and controlled clinical trials demonstrating as good or better outcomes with the more restrictive practices in most cases (see the list of our prior columns at the end of todays column).
(American Association of Blood Banks) updated its guidelines in 2016 (see our November 2016 What's New in the Patient Safety World column AABB Updates Transfusion Guidelines Again)and recommended two tiers of hemoglobin level transfusion triggers (Carson 2016):
Gupta 2017Note that we discussed the Hopkins program (Sadana 2017) in our December 2017 What's New in the Patient Safety World column Study Confirms Safety of Restrictive Transfusion Policy.)
Prior columns on potential detrimental effects related to red blood cell transfusions:
Carson JL, Guyatt G, Heddle NM, et al. Clinical Practice Guidelines from the AABB. Red Blood Cell Transfusion Thresholds and Storage. JAMA 2016; Published online October 12, 2016
Sadana D, Pratzer A, Scher LJ, et al. Promoting High-Value Practice by Reducing Unnecessary Transfusions with a Patient Blood Management Program. JAMA Intern Med 2017; Published online November 20, 2017