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

Evaluating the Appropriateness of a Single Unit Transfusion

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

Abstract

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.
METHODS
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.
RESULTS
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.
CONCLUSION
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.

Keyword

Single unit; Transfusion; Hemoglobin concentration
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