The Problem:

Transfusion Therapy is Hazardous and Expensive, Yet Blood Utilization is Suboptimal!
  • Blood acquisition costs have more than doubled in the past few years and will continue to rise as the blood supply struggles to meet the increasing demand.
  • Each transfusion causes a stepwise increase in serious complications including postoperative infection rates, ventilator-acquired pneumonia, central line sepsis, ICU and hospital length of stay, as well as mortality rates.
  • Transfusion costs exceed blood acquisition costs by four times or greater when accounting for labor, supplies, administration and adverse events.
  • Most physicians who order blood products lack formal training in transfusion therapy, and many are unaware of current transfusion guidelines.
  • Oversight of blood utilization is lacking as witnessed by wide variation in transfusion practices between institutions and among physicians at the same institution.
  • From a medical-legal standpoint, the financial liability of improper informed consent, inappropriate transfusions and transfusion errors can can be substantial.

Results of Implementing a Blood Management Program

Actual Business Case
Blood Management Program Cost Savings
750 Bed Community Hospital
Five Year
Reduction in RBC transfusions
3500 units
17,500 units
Blood acquisition cost savings*
Transfusion cost savings
Reduction in adverse events
Total hospital cost savings**
*RBC acquisition cost $210/ unit **Platelet cost savings adds $1.4M annual/ $7M over five years

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