Patients with intestinal bleeding may face significant transfusion risk — 3 points

A study published in the journal Transfusion found patients with intestinal bleeding may not need a transfusion and, in fact, receiving more blood may put them at a higher risk of death, according to The West Australian.

Researchers studied more than 2,000 patient cases.

Here are three points:

1. Professor John Olynyk, head of gastroenterology at Fiona Stanley Hospital in Australia, and one of the research authors, said more than 1,100 people came to emergency departments in West Australia every year with bleeding of the upper gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, the stomach itself and the first part of the small intestine.

2. Most of those patients have an endoscopic procedure to stem the bleeding and receive some form of blood product before the procedure.

3. Those most likely to get worse after a blood transfusion were patients with a hemoglobin level more than 90g per liter. These patients were ten times more likely to have further bleeding if they received an early transfusion.

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