Appropriate blood component usage

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Abstract

Blood transfusion (which includes FFP, platelets, cryoprecipitate and any other blood-derived product) remains an important modality of treatment across all clinical disciplines. A blood transfusion is deemed appropriate when used in an evidence-based fashion and where the effects of the transfusion are felt to outweigh any potential risks and complications that may arise from the transfusion. In certain cases, it may be the best treatment option available, for example plasma exchange in thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. However, blood transfusion can result in acute or delayed complications, as well as the risk of transmission of infectious agents. The inappropriate use of blood and blood products increases the risk of transfusion-related complications and adverse events to recipients. It also contributes to shortages of blood products and the possibility of it not being available when required for other patients in an appropriate setting. It is therefore necessary to reduce the unnecessary transfusions through the appropriate clinical use of blood, avoiding unnecessary transfusions, and use of alternatives to transfusion.

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