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Researchers say it's time to treat anemia seriously
Date:1/24/2013

in patient care and in training, research and education for health care professionals.

Under patient blood management, physicians might prescribe certain drugs or dietary supplements to raise a patient's hemoglobin level before surgery.

During surgery, doctors may use a variety of state of-the-art technologies and techniques to minimize blood loss, such as minimally invasive surgery, electrocautery (using heat to stop vessels from bleeding), an argon beam coagulator, which coagulates or clots blood to minimize blood loss, or intravenous iron and erythropoietin, which stimulate bone marrow to produce red blood cells.

The number of patients requiring blood transfusions after undergoing knee replacement surgery in Ontario in 2011 was less than half the number in 2002.

2002 was when the provincial government set up the Ontario Transfusion Coordinators (ONTraC), a province-wide blood management program administered by St. Michael's Hospital. The goal of the program is to promote blood conservation and alternatives to transfusions for problems such as anemia, a condition where a person has a reduced number of red blood cells or hemoglobin, the part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen.

ONTraC figures published for the first time today show the number of patients requiring blood transfusions after undergoing knee surgery fell from 24.5 per cent in 2002 to 10.1 per cent in 2011. The number requiring transfusions after undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting fell from 60.2 per cent to 25.2 per cent in the same time.


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Contact: Leslie Shepherd
shepherdl@smh.ca
416-864-6094
St. Michael's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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