Panel: Most blood transfusions in the U.S. unnecessary

04/24/2009 | MedPage Today (free registration)

Around 60% of the 14 million units of blood donated annually in the U.S. are transfused to stable, nonbleeding patients, according to an expert panel's systematic review of 555 studies. Only 11% of medical cases involving patients without trauma or active bleeding will benefit from allogeneic blood transfusions, the group said. Based on these figures, "donor transfusions should be limited only to surgery patients who are experiencing major bleeding that is difficult to control quickly," one co-panelist said.

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