The National Blood Authority has issued new Patient Blood Management Guidelines.
The new Guidelines are patient-focused and part of a nationally coordinated approach towards patient blood management.
They aim to reduce inappropriate transfusions and deliver better outcomes for patients.
General Manager of the National Blood Authority, Leigh McJames, said that while blood transfusions were a recognised life-saving part of medical treatment, they could also be associated with adverse events and poorer outcomes for some patient groups.
“These Guidelines provide healthcare professionals with the latest evidence-based approach to managing patients to minimise unnecessary exposure to transfusions where possible and deliver better outcomes for patients,” Mr McJames said.
He said the Guidelines had been developed by experts from clinical speciality colleges, societies and consumer representatives working with the NBA.
The first three modules to be released were (1) Critical Bleeding/Massive Transfusion; (2) Perioperative; and (3) Medical.
He said the first module dealing with Critical Bleeding/Massive Transfusion, provided support for healthcare professionals managing patients with critical bleeding requiring massive transfusion.
He said the second module – Perioperative – offered guidance on patient blood management prior to, during and after surgery.
“The third module, Medical, focuses on patients with acute or chronic medical conditions requiring ongoing treatment with blood and/or blood products,” Mr McJames said.
He said when complete, the Guidelines would be made up of six modules with the fourth, focussing on critical care expected to be published in early 2013 and the obstetrics and paediatrics/neonates modules to follow.
Chair of the reference group responsible for preparing the perioperative module, Associate Professor Larry McNicol,said “patients awaiting elective surgery, especially where blood loss is anticipated, should have investigations for iron deficiency and anaemia which, if found, should be corrected prior to surgery.
“Patients who are better prepared for surgery have better recovery rates, so we know that following these guidelines will result in better patient care,” Professor McNicol said.
He said the patient-focused approach to blood management had already been tested in Western Australia where the use of blood transfusions per 1,000 of the population fell from 30.5 in 2007-08 to 27.5in 2011-12.
The guidelines are available free of charge from the National Blood Authority’s website this PS News link.