Effective reduction of blood product use in a community teaching hospital: when less is more.

Link to article at PubMed

Effective reduction of blood product use in a community teaching hospital: when less is more.

Am J Med. 2013 Oct;126(10):894-902

Authors: Politsmakher A, Doddapaneni V, Seeratan R, Dosik H

BACKGROUND: The increased morbidity and mortality associated with liberal blood product usage have been convincingly demonstrated. The clinical problems they pose have prompted development of more restrictive evidence-based transfusion criteria. Education alone has a limited impact on the adoption of these criteria into practice. New York Methodist Hospital undertook a proactive approach to reduce unnecessary transfusions.
METHOD: In November 2008, an interventional monitoring program to ensure adherence to transfusion criteria for packed red blood cells (PRBC), platelets, fresh frozen plasma (FFP), and cryoprecipitate transfusions was started. Blood bank technologists routinely monitored transfusion requests against a list of established criteria and experienced clinicians reviewed and adjudicated transfusion requests when the blood bank technologist's action was appealed.
RESULTS: Transfusion usage decreased sharply in Year 1 (November 2008-October 2009) and continued to decrease in Year 2 (November 2009-October 2010). PRBC use decreased by 30.1% and 37.7%, with a 47.6% decrease in multi-unit transfusions; platelet use decreased by 24.3% and 41.2%; fresh frozen plasma use decreased by 41.8% and 31.1%; and cryoprecipitate use decreased by 38.7% and 56.1% during monitoring Years 1 and 2, respectively. Decreases occurred despite a 4.0% increase in hospital admissions during the monitoring years. The decreased blood product usage was accompanied by 28.6% reduction in complications. A 26.1% decrease in blood product requests from Year 1 to Year 2 suggested a practice change by the ordering physicians themselves. The total cost of blood products decreased by $2,235,676.
CONCLUSION: We established a successful method to reduce transfusions of all blood products using strict adherence to evidence-based criteria and continuous monitoring. Our model translates into improved patient safety by decreasing the number of unnecessary transfusions. This also led to a significant reduction in hospital expenses.

PMID: 24054957 [PubMed - in process]

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