Patient Blood Management

Despite the perceived benefit, transfusions can be incredibly risky for the patient. Hospitals must have a clearly-defined process for the evaluation of need, alternatives, and risks versus benefits to encourage the use of blood products only when clinically-deemed necessary and after the exhaustion of all other potential options. Our APSS Blueprints provide healthcare organizations with practical, evidence-based checklists and protocols for storage, testing, transportation, administration, and monitoring during transfusions.

Patient Stories


Restrictive transfusion strategies can reduce the risk of receiving RBC transfusions by 39%, and are associated with reductions in hospital mortality.1

Carson JL, Carless PA, Hebert PC. Transfusion thresholds and other strategies for guiding allogeneic red blood cell transfusion. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD002042.

About 0.5% to 3% of all transfusions result in some adverse events.2

Kumar, P., Thapliyal, R., Coshic, P., & Chatterjee, K. (2013). Retrospective evaluation of adverse transfusion reactions following blood product transfusion from a tertiary care hospital: A preliminary step towards hemovigilance. Asian Journal of Transfusion Science, 7(2), 109–115.

With 15 million RBC units transfused per year, the estimated risk for death due to hemolysis is 1:1,250,000 or 8 per 10 million RBC units.3

Federowicz I, Barrett BB, Andersen JW, Urashima M, Popovsky MA, Anderson KC. Characterization of reactions after transfusion of cellular blood components that are white cell reduced before storage. Transfusion. 1996;36: 21-8. [PMID: 8607149].

Transfusion-related fatalities due to hemolysis reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration averaged 12.5 deaths per year from 2005 to 2010.4

Carson, J. L., Grossman, B., Kleinman, S., Tinmouth, A. T., Marques, M. M., Fung, M. K., … Djulbegovic, B. (2012). Red Blood Cell Transfusion: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the AABB. Annals of Internal Medicine. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-156-12-201206190-00429


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