AABB 2014


Philadelphia skyline

The AABB Annual Meeting 2014 took place October 25-28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Strategy could reduce TRALI after platelet transfusion

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 11/14/14

Apheresis machine

Researchers believe a simple screening strategy could reduce the risk of transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) in patients receiving apheresis platelets (APs) by about 60%. Studying TRALI cases reported to the American Red Cross, the investigators found evidence to support the idea that testing female AP donors who report prior pregnancy and deferring those with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibodies could greatly decrease the risk of TRALI. [Read Article]

TACO linked to amount and type of blood product transfused

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 11/13/14

Plasma for transfusion
Credit: Cristina Granados

Results of a population-based study suggest that elderly adults in the US have seen an increase in the rate of transfusion-associated circulatory overload (TACO) in the last few years. The risk of TACO increased with advancing age and with increases in the number of units transfused. TACO rates also appeared to be related to the type of blood components transfused. Patients were more likely to develop TACO if they received red blood cells (RBCs) with plasma and/or platelets. [Read Article]

Malaria prevents hospitals from meeting blood demands

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 11/11/14

Malaria-transmitting mosquito
Credit: James Gathany

The demand for blood transfusions increases substantially during high malaria transmission season, according to a study of hospitals in Tanzania. On average, blood demand increased about 24% from low transmission season to high transmission season. And some hospitals could not meet the increased demand. Unmet demand was highest in government hospitals, followed by faith-based institutions and private facilities. [Read Article]

Study reveals gap in patient blood management

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 11/07/14

blood_for_donation_Juan_D_ Alfonso_230.jpg
Blood for transfusion
Credit: Juan D. Alfonso

Healthcare professionals may not be using blood management interventions in a majority of patients receiving red blood cell (RBC) transfusions, a large study suggests. The research showed that 72 US hospitals have made strides in reducing the use of RBCs in patients undergoing orthopedic and cardiac surgery. And smaller reductions have occurred in patients with gastrointestinal bleeding, obstetric patients, and those receiving bone marrow transplants or inpatient chemotherapy. [Read Article]

Results support transfusing with caution in TTP, HIT

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 11/06/14

Platelets for transfusion

Results of a large study support the recommendation that patients with platelet consumptive disorders only receive platelet transfusions if they exhibit severe or life-threatening bleeding that is refractory to other therapies. The research indicated that platelet transfusions may increase the risk of arterial thrombosis and mortality among hospitalized patients with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and those with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). [Read Article]

Transfusions benefit adults with sickle cell disease

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 11/05/14

Sickled and normal red cells
Credit: Graham Beards

Blood transfusions can provide pain relief in adults with sickle cell disease (SCD) who have failed treatment with hydroxyurea, a pilot study suggests. Patients had fewer visits to the emergency department (ED) and fewer hospital admissions for pain control after they received chronic transfusions for pain prophylaxis than they did prior to receiving transfusions. Matthew S. Karafin, MD, of the Blood Center of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, presented these results at the AABB Annual Meeting 2014. [Read Article]

RECESS suggests RBC age doesn’t affect outcomes

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 11/04/14

Blood for transfusion
Credit: UAB Hospital

As the medical community continues to debate whether transfusing older blood has a negative outcome on patients, results of the RECESS trial add fuel to the fire. The study showed no significant differences in clinical outcomes between cardiac surgery patients who received newer red blood cells (RBCs) and those who received older RBCs. There were no differences in multi-organ dysfunction scores (MODS), mortality rates, or the incidence of serious adverse events. [Read Article]

Study supports 2:1 ratio for transfusion in pregnancy

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 10/31/14

Pregnant woman
Credit: Nina Matthews

Results of a single-center study suggest that, when it comes to massive transfusion in pregnancy, a 1:1 ratio of red blood cells (RBCs) to plasma is not needed to maintain adequate hemostasis. A 2:1 ratio produces prothrombin times (PTs), activated partial thromboplastin times (PTTs), and fibrinogen levels within references ranges. Vanessa Plasencia, MLS (ASCP)CM, of Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, presented these findings at the AABB Annual Meeting 2014. [Read Article]

Residents arrange transfusions despite poor knowledge

Jen Smith Read Article
Published: 10/30/14

Bags of blood for transfusion
Credit: Elise Amendola

Internal medicine residents are obtaining transfusion consent from patients despite having poor knowledge of transfusion medicine, according to a study of nearly 500 residents in 9 countries. On an exam assessing transfusion knowledge, the residents’ mean score was 45.7%. And in a survey, an overwhelming majority of residents said they had “beginner” or “intermediate” transfusion knowledge. Still, 89% said they had obtained patient consent for a transfusion. [Read Article]


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