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Best Practice in Patient Blood Management in a Surgical Patient Population

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 2013)

The greatest predictor of whether a patient will need a transfusion is their preoperative hemoglobin level. The Holland Centre at Sunnybrook performs over 3,000 orthopaedic surgical procedures annually. In 2011, it introduced routine CBC (complete blood count) preoperative screening of all surgical candidates to identify anemic patients, manage potential anemia and refer high risk patients to the Blood Conservation Clinic for anemia optimization before surgery. All preoperative patients are given oral iron for one month. If patients are anemic, they are referred to the Blood Conservation Clinic (BCC) four to six weeks preoperatively for consideration of IV iron or Eprex. The project involved an interprofessional team that included Anesthesia, Hematology, Nursing, and Orthopaedic Surgeons. A preoperative blood conservation algorithm was designed and broad staff education was conducted. Patient education materials were also developed. Transfusion rates during the study period were 3.6% compared to 5.1% previously. The estimated cost-savings associated with fewer transfusions in this patient population was $75,000.

From blood transfusions, to heart surgery, to lung infections, Dr. Paul Hébert is doing research to improve the way we care for the sickest patients in the hospital

(Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 2006)

Dr. Paul Hébert treats the sickest patients in The Ottawa Hospital – three of every 10 patients who arrive in the intensive care unit will never recover….While Dr. Hébert spends about half of his time trying to heal these patients one-by-one, the other half is spent on critical care research that is helping hundreds of thousands of patients in Ottawa and around the world….he found that patients treated aggressively with transfused blood had a higher death rate than patients whose doctors waited to order a transfusion.  Read the full news article here.