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Plasma: It’s Not So “Mellow Yellow”

Plasma transfusion, whether FFP, plasma 24, thawed plasma, or any variation on this theme, continues to increase in the U.S. The 2009 National Blood Collection & Utilization Survey Report documented 5.7 million units of plasma produced and close to 4.5…


Iron: It’s Not Just for Hemoglobin

Iron deficiency is common – very common. Estimates of the prevalence of iron deficiency in the U.S. vary depending on the age of the population studied and co-morbidities. In the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) iron deficiency…


Untangling Transfusion Patient Safety and Biologic Product Deviations

The July supplement to Transfusion, the Journal of Blood Services Management, contains an excellent and quite provocative article surrounding the knowledge of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reportable deviations.1 For those outside the highly regulated world of the blood…


Are YOU a Blood Donor?

After receiving my third phone call in two days from my transfusion service personnel with concerns about our inventory, I realized yet again how important the role of stewardship is to our blood supply. Inventory issues seem more glaringly apparent…


Guiding Transfusion Guidelines – Part II

Last month’s article on Guiding Transfusion Guidelines: Part 1 covered the general concepts of implementing clinical practice guidelines. Appropriate transfusion decisions are a critically important and often overlooked part of the transfusion safety chain from donor to patient1, so evidence-based…


Guiding Transfusion Guidelines – Part I

February is my favorite month to discuss improving blood utilization because it is the anniversary of the Transfusion Requirements in Critical Care (TRICC) trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on February 11th, 1999.1 In this landmark study2,…


Improving Blood Transfusion Consent

Some time ago my delightful 80+ year-old grandmother was diagnosed with a GI bleed that led to hospitalization and multiple transfusions. As I am the only nurse in the family, she made a point to tell me that she needed blood…


Proactive vs. Reactive Patient Care: Preoperative Anemia Management

Preoperative preparation and planning are essential for the safe and optimal management of surgical patients. This principal applies to the management of preoperative anemia in elective surgical patients with anticipated major blood loss. As the use of autologous predonation continues…


The Importance of Effective Blood Utilization Committees

February is always a good month to talk about blood utilization oversight because it is the anniversary of the Transfusion Requirements in Critical Care (TRICC) trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on February 11th, 1999.1 In this…