Stricter Guidelines Needed for Blood Transfusions, Study Says

A study conducted by Johns Hopkins researchers reveals that patients may be receiving blood transfusions too often during surgery, according to a Baltimore Sun report.

The study, published in the May issue of Anesthesiology, found that patients who receive blood transfusions fare no better, and sometimes do worse, than those who do not receive blood.

The problem, according to lead study author Steven Frank, MD, may be that physicians don't have clear guidelines about when a transfusion is appropriate. "Blood conservation is one of the few areas in medicine where outcomes can be improved, risk reduced and costs saved all at the same time," said Dr. Frank, an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine in Hopkins School of Medicine. "Nothing says it's better to give a patient more blood than is needed."

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