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From the lab: Anemia and transfusion

Although transfusion is considered the primary treatment for anemia, it is also associated with increased complications, mortality and length of stay. WHO estimates 30 – 50 percent of anemia is related to a nutritional deficiency, with more than half lacking iron or in combination with folate or B12. Discovering the causes of anemia, particularly nutritional deficiency, may lead to important preventive opportunities to avoid unnecessary transfusion.

Preliminary investigation shows 7.6 percent of iron-deficiency anemia was transfused with RBCs. Attention should be paid to increasing awareness and knowledge of anemia among healthcare providers to evaluate and manage it with targeted interventions. For more information, contact Young Choi, MD, medical director of Transfusion Services, ext. 3157.