The study published in JAMA in April 2014 suggests a more conservative transfusion strategy can reduce hospital-acquired infection rates.

Conservative Transfusion Strategy May Cut Hospital Infection Rates

JAMA has published a paper by a team led by Drs. Mary Rogers and Jeffrey Rohde of the University of Michigan. They examined the association between two types of transfusion strategies and health care-associated infections.

A study has been published by JAMA that suggest more conservative transfusion strategies could reduce infection rates at hospitals and other health care facilities.

Funded by NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the study was done by a team led by Drs. Mary Rogers and Jeffrey Rohde of the University of Michigan examining the relationship between transfusion strategies and health care-associated infections. About 5 percent of hospital inpatients develop an infection related to their care, according to NIH.

Although the risk of developing an infection from a blood transfusion is very low, patients who receive a blood transfusion may be at higher risk of infection because their immune system may react to substances found in the stored donor blood.

The team analyzed data from 18 randomized clinical trials that included more than 7,500 patients, comparing the infections associated with liberal transfusion strategies (where patients received more blood) and restrictive transfusion strategies (where patients received less). According to NIH, they calculated that the risk of serious hospital-associated infections was about 17 percent when liberal transfusion strategies were used but 12 percent with restrictive strategies.

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