Experts examine ways to address anemia and blood loss in surgery patients

Anemia is common, and in surgical patients can increase various risks associated with operations. While blood transfusion can be a lifesaver for patients in these situations, it may not be always be appropriate and can even increase risks.

A new review presents a 'patient blood management' program to help clinicians make decisions relating to and . The approach relies on 3 pillars of care: detecting and treating anemia before surgery, reducing during surgery, and optimizing management of anemia after surgery. The program can be used to develop a patient-specific plan to predict the likelihood of blood loss and how to optimally address it if it occurs.

"This article on patient blood management highlights that anemia is a common and a potentially reversible risk in surgical practice," said senior author Dr. Toby Richards.

The British Journal of Surgery review will be published together with additional articles on the use of blood transfusions and when they are and are not appropriate.


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More information: Clevenger, B., Mallett, S. V., Klein, A. A. and Richards, T. (2015), Patient blood management to reduce surgical risk. Br J Surg. DOI: 10.1002/bjs.9898
Journal information: British Journal of Surgery

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