Blood transfusion is one of the most common hospital procedures in developed countries. However, inappropriate use of blood transfusion is common, and this is of considerable concern because transfusion is known to be associated with adverse events and is costly. Reductions in blood use have resulted from recent evidence indicating that restrictive use of red blood cell transfusions is associated with similar patient outcomes to liberal strategies and from a focus on patient blood management (PBM), which recognizes the importance of conserving the patient’s own blood alongside the judicious use of transfusion. A recent Consensus Conference in Frankfurt developed practice and research recommendations for PBM but also indicated that additional studies are needed to provide better evidence for PBM interventions, including for improved patient outcomes and lower hospital costs as well as for reductions in blood utilization. In the meanwhile, it is of utmost importance to translate PBM guidelines into practical day-to-day recommendations and encourage their use to make PBM “the standard of care.”

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