“Use every drop wisely” – New push to reduce unnecessary blood transfusions

11 March 2022

New clinical guidance released today says that blood transfusions continue to be inappropriately prescribed across Australia and New Zealand.

New recommendations released by Evolve and Choosing Wisely Australia urge physicians to consider evidence-based guidelines for the appropriate use of blood and blood products.  

Royal Australasian College of Physicians Lead Fellow, and Vice President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion Dr Anastazia Keegan, says “Blood transfusions can be lifesaving– however we are still seeing a reliance on blood and blood products in circumstances where it has been proven to be unnecessary.

“Blood transfusion doesn’t come without risks to patients. Most transfusion reactions are transient and easily managed such as febrile reactions, allergic reactions and transfusion-associated circulatory overload. However, some reactions are life-threatening such as acute haemolytic reactions, transfusion-transmitted infections, transfusion-associated acute lung injury and anaphylaxis.

“Blood is a scarce and precious resource so physicians need to use it wisely.”

Evolve, an initiative led by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, releases new recommendations each year to reduce low-value care practices in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

These new evidence-based recommendations align with the blood management standard, one of the eight National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards developed to protect Australians from harm and to improve the quality of health service provision.

Part of a global movement, Evolve is a flagship initiative led by physicians, specialties and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) to drive high-value, high-quality care in Australia and New Zealand. RACP is a founding member of Choosing Wisely Australia, with all Evolve recommendations becoming part of the Choosing Wisely Australia campaign. 

Visit the Evolve website for more information: evolve.edu.au/recommendations/anzsbt 

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