What is the therapeutic goal of transfusion for hemorrhagic shock?

Updated: Apr 16, 2019
  • Author: Linda L Maerz, MD, FACS, FCCM; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Based on the classic definition of shock, the time-honored principles of effective resuscitation from hemorrhage describe elimination of oxygen debt, anaerobic metabolism, and tissue acidosis. When the etiology is hemorrhage, the goal of transfusion is restoration of the tissue oxygenation that was compromised by the loss of hemoglobin and oxygen-carrying capacity. The goal is not restoration of a specific (and arbitrary) hemoglobin level (ie, "trigger"). Instead, transfusion should reflect the application of a therapy that targets a physiologically identifiable and achievable goal.


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