Blood Products and Transfusion Therapy in the ICU



Anemia and coagulopathy are common hematologic disorders in critically ill and injured patients. Anemia can cause various physiologic derangements that may contribute to significant morbidity and mortality in the intensive care unit. Treatment of these disorders frequently requires the transfusion of blood products. Although blood component therapy has become the standard approach in most ICUs, there is a role for whole blood transfusions in more austere healthcare settings and during mass casualty events. Regardless of the type of blood product used, there is potential for adverse transfusion reactions and infectious complications. Consequently, research efforts have focused on limiting exposure to unnecessary blood product transfusions, giving rise to more restrictive transfusion strategies over the last two decades. This area remains a topic of ongoing controversy and study, and it is imperative that critical care clinicians understand the risks, benefits, and indications for blood product transfusions.


Blood component therapy Whole blood Walking blood bank Restrictive transfusion strategy Transfusion reactions 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pulmonary & Critical Care ServiceWomack Army Medical CenterFt. BraggUSA

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