Decades ago, the storage and transfusion of blood was cutting edge technology. Now, reducing the number of transfusions is cutting edge technology.
Leaders in medical care, such as Johns Hopkins, Duke University Medical Center, Columbia Medical Center, and Mount Sinai Beth Israel have been using formal blood management programs for years. What’s behind the turnaround? How can your hospital benefit from patient blood management (PBM) techniques?
There’s no doubt that blood transfusions save lives, especially in trauma situations. In fact, over 36,000 units of blood are transfused in the U.S. everyday.
However, much research supports the benefits of PBM to both the patient and the medical institution. They include:
- Less risk of infections, rejection, and medical staff error. While the blood supply is labeled “safer than ever” by the CDC, the Red Cross admits there continued risks.
- Reduced risk of receiving old donor blood. Check out this commentary from the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management (SABM) on the adverse outcomes of donated blood that is just 35 days old.
- Reduced risk of infection after surgery. See this commentary on PBM in cardiac surgery patients.
- Faster recovery. From elderly patients to pediatrics, SABM has documented much research supporting quicker recovery times and better overall health when blood management tools are used.
- Better outcomes and compliance. The health of the patient is always the priority. Recent healthcare reform, however, has also made patient outcome a factor by which medical organizations are measured. Blood management helps reduce complications and readmission rates for hospitals.
PBM involves both pharmaceutical and surgical techniques that reduce the need for donor blood. Most of all, it involves a heightened awareness throughout a medical organization. Numerous organizations are reaping the rewards of better patient outcomes. In addition, when PBM is implemented, blood shortages are eliminated and blood stores are reserved for patients with no other options.