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New Study Reveals Wide Variation in Blood Transfusion Practices During Surgery
Date:7/26/2012

IRVINE, Calif., July 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a new study in the July 2012 print edition of Anesthesiology, blood transfusion, the most common procedure performed in U.S. hospitals1, has wide variation in frequency by surgical procedure and physician as well as wide variation in the hemoglobin trigger used to help decide whether to transfuse.2 The study also showed a significant number of transfusion decisions are made without laboratory hemoglobin measurements. The research adds to the growing clinical evidence highlighting the need for improved blood-management strategies. It also underscores the opportunity for noninvasive and continuous total hemoglobin (SpHb®) monitoring from Masimo (NASDAQ: MASI) to facilitate optimal transfusion decision making to improve patient safety and reduce costs.

In the study, conducted at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, researchers collected data on 48,086 surgical patients over 18 months and evaluated blood transfusion frequency and hemoglobin triggers by surgical procedure and physician. A total of 2,981 patients (6.2%) received an intra-operative red blood cell transfusion, with two-thirds of those patients receiving two or more units. Transfusion rates varied up to threefold between different physicians performing the same procedure (p<0.05). The average transfusion hemoglobin trigger used to determine need for blood transfusion varied widely with both surgeons (7.2 g/dL to 9.8 g/dL, p=0.001 and anesthesiologists (7.2 g/dL to 9.6 g/dL, p=0.001). The ending hemoglobin values after the last recorded transfusion also varied widely for both surgeons (8.8 g/dL to 11.8 g/dL, p=0.001) and anesthesiologists (9.0 g/dL to 11.7 g/dL, p=0.0004). A recent laboratory hemoglobin measurement was not available when 31% of transfusion deci
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