What are the alternatives to allogeneic transfusion?

Updated: Apr 16, 2019
  • Author: Linda L Maerz, MD, FACS, FCCM; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Given the risks associated with component transfusion, it stands to reason that alternative therapies to reduce allogeneic exposure have been sought. [64] Meticulous surgical technique, preoperative and intraoperative protocols designed to reduce red cell mass loss (eg, hypotensive procedures, surgical tourniquets, preoperative anemia correction with human erythropoietin), hemostatic adjuncts (eg, surgical, thrombin, procoagulant gels, platelet gel), and lower hemoglobin transfusion triggers are standard in the modern armamentarium to reduce banked blood use. Additional specific practices are outlined below.

Spahn and Goodnough published a summary of alternatives to blood transfusion such as autologous blood procurement, erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, and hemostatic agents that are currently under investigation. The authors also suggest that the detection and treatment of anemia before surgery is an easy method that may help reduce the use of blood products and associated risks. [64]

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