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Study: Transfusion decisions vary widely in surgery

Doctors' decisions on when to transfuse can vary widely, and the association between transfusion and patient outcomes is inconsistent, according to a Johns Hopkins University study published in the journal Anesthesiology. Researchers evaluated the records of more than 48,000 patients, almost 3,000 of whom received blood transfusions during surgery, and found notable differences in hemoglobin levels at the time of transfusion. Doctors should be more aware of transfusion guidelines, and more education is needed, researchers said. Read about the AABB clinical practice guideline on red cell transfusion here.