Saving blood saves lives
Management program also helps reduce costs
The University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City has reduced the use of red blood cells by 37% and experienced a similar drop in its use of other blood products—saving about $1 million—since implementing an evidence-based, multidisciplinary blood management program in September 2009. During that period, deaths have been 38% below expectations, the lowest mortality index in the hospital’s history.
Motivated by costs more than doubling since 2001, shortages becoming more frequent, and new research casting doubt on the traditional risk-benefit analysis related to transfusion, the hospital brought together hundreds of physicians and staff to promote the most efficient use of blood products. They divided into four teams focused on educating their colleagues, implementing an evidence-based transfusion order set, reducing iatrogenic blood loss and managing preoperative anemia.