Future directions in utilization review: The role of transfusion algorithms

Lawrence T. Goodnough, George J. Despotis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Transfusion practice guidelines and retrospective utilization review have been ineffective in curtailing the inappropriate use of blood and blood products, particularly in cardiac surgical patients. Patients undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) are at increased risk for excessive perioperative blood loss requiring transfusion of blood products. Recent evaluations have focused on the use of point-of-care coagulation assays for patient-specific therapy. Blood component administration in patients with excessive post-CPB bleeding is generally empiric, in part related to the times required to perform of laboratory-based tests. Methods are now available for rapid, on-site assessment of coagulation assays to allow appropriate, targeted therapy for acquired hemostatic abnormalities. Recent studies indicate that a rapid evaluation of thrombocytopenia and coagulation factor deficiencies, coupled with transfusion algorithms, can facilitate the optimal administration of transfusion-based therapy in patients who exhibit excessive bleeding after CPB. The use of point-of-care assays and transfusion algorithms may provide an effective concurrent method of utilization review of blood products in the surgical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalTransfusion Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1998


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