Blood conservation: Calling for a culture of low-volume blood draws


Intravenous literature: Barth, M. D., Quatrara, B., Burns, S.M. and Conaway, M.R. (2013) Blood Conservation: What Is Current Blood Draw Practice? Journal of Infusion Nursing. 36(5), p.323–328.


The new AABB guidelines for red blood cell transfusions narrow the threshold for transfusion. A natural outgrowth is to emphasize blood conservation strategies, including reduced blood draws. There is no universal practice for the collection of blood or strategy for blood conservation. As such, it is often assumed that frequency and amounts of blood drawn vary with patient acuity, caregiver experience, and patient length of stay. Yet, a descriptive study did not identify any significant differences in these variables. Creating a culture of low-volume blood drawing may help to reduce blood transfusions.

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