Blood management for improved outcomes

Patient Blood Management Awareness Week – an invitation to share the importance of a strong blood management program – is November 6-10. For a better understanding of the processes our healthcare system has in place, we enlisted the help of Julia Crosby, MT (ASCP) BB, blood bank specialist. Parkview Health implemented a system-wide comprehensive Patient Blood Management Program (cPBM) in 2016, in partnership with Accumen, a national leader in patient blood management education and awareness.

Here, Julia offers more on our current blood management initiatives and what they mean to those patients who undergo a transfusion.  

The risks of transfusion.
A blood transfusion should be considered similar to a tissue or organ transplant, because like a transplant, the introduction of donor red blood cells and plasma proteins to the recipient does not go unnoticed by the recipient’s immune system. In some cases, the recipient immune system will respond to the foreign components with a counterattack that may result in uncomfortable transfusion reactions, the production of antibodies and difficulty in matching the patient for future transfusions. Because of these immune responses, the patient ultimately also experiences more blood draws and increased costs for testing, medication and provision of future transfusions. 

Other transfusion recipients’ immune systems might become so overwhelmed by the donor blood that they become immunosuppressed, meaning function is less than optimal. These patients are more susceptible to hospital-acquired infections, experience longer length of hospital stay, and have an increased hospital readmission rate

Blood management for improved outcomes.  
A patient blood management program provides hospitals with processes for improved recognition, diagnosis and management of anemia without transfusion or with fewer transfusions, and strategies to minimize surgical bleeding and blood loss. These processes allow treatment of patients who have mild to moderate anemia with guided therapies that help them produce their own red blood cells and avoid negative immune system responses and costly interventions. 

Parkview Health is dedicated to providing this type of thoughtful care and will continue developing anemia management protocols during this second year of our blood management journey.  



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