Korean J Blood Transfus.  2007 Dec;18(3):177-187.

Evaluating the Appropriateness of a Single Unit Transfusion

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hyunok1019@yuhs.ac.kr


BACKGROUND: The domestic quantity of blood components consumed has been decreasing since 2002, but the rate of a single unit RBC transfusion (SUT) has been on the increase. In the past, a SUT was regarded as an uncesssary procedure, but currently is considered as an effective method to maintain a minimal hemoglobin concentration for physiological needs. We investigated the actual conditions of a SUT.
We analyzed 800 cases of SUTs performed at a tertiary care university hospital between March 2006 March and February 2007. The subjects of the study were divided into a surgical group (n=561) and medical group (n=239) for the purpose of RBC unit usage and were analyzed by groups and ordering departments, with an analysis of the pre and post-transfusion hemoglobin concentration and hematocrit values. The distribution according to the pre and post-transfusion hemoglobin ranges were calculated.
The mean hemoglobin concentration increment of the surgical group was significantly lower than that of the medical group (P<0.0001) and the mean pre and post-transfusion hemoglobin concentrations of the medical group were lower than that of the surgical group (P<0.0001). Approximately 26% cases of the SUTs performed in the surgical group were appropriate, based on a post-transfusion hemoglobin concentration below 10 g/dL. In the medical group, about 75% of the SUTs were appropriate based on a pre-transfusion hemoglobin concentration below 9 g/dL.
Most transfusions are decided based on various clinical situations and opinions of the clinicians. Therefore, continuous evaluation of the appropriateness of transfusion is necessary. In our study, the appropriateness of a SUT was estimated indirectly based on the pre and post-transfusion hemoglobin concentration. Consequently, policies and strategies for performing asingle unit RBC transfusion are required.


Single unit; Transfusion; Hemoglobin concentration
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