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At Twin Cities hospitals, doing more with less blood

Star Tribune, October 22, 2013
Twin Cities area hospitals have cut their use of donated blood by thousands of units over the last five years, abandoning long-held but thinly researched criteria about which patients need transfusions after surgery and those who do not. Allina Health estimates its 12 hospitals have used 14,000 fewer units of blood since January 2010, when it adopted research-based standards that reduced the number of anemic patients who received transfusions after surgery, and the amount of blood given per ¬transfusion. "If you're bleeding out, blood is going to save your life," said Dr. Lauren Anthony, a pathologist who led Allina's efforts to reduce transfusions. "But if you're not bleeding out, blood is not as beneficial as they used to think it was."