American Association of Blood Banks

View all recommendations from this society

Released April 24, 2014

Don’t transfuse red blood cells for iron deficiency without hemodynamic instability.

Blood transfusion has become a routine medical response despite cheaper and safer alternatives in some settings. Pre-operative patients with iron deficiency and patients with chronic iron deficiency without hemodynamic instability (even with low hemoglobin levels) should be given oral and/or intravenous iron.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

Recommendations were drafted by a work group led by AABB Director Jeannie Callum, MD. Ten draft statements were edited by the AABB Clinical Transfusion Medicine Committee, chaired by Aaron Tobian, MD. In order to identify the top five statements, a random sampling of AABB physician members working in the field of transfusion medicine in hospitals, as well as all members of AABB’s Clinical Transfusion Medicine Committee, were asked to rate the 10 draft statements. On a Likert scale, participants were asked to “indicate the importance of including each of the following transfusion-related statements in the Choosing Wiselycampaign promoting the appropriate use of health care resources.” The final top five statements were approved by the AABB Board of Directors.

AABB’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.aabb.org.

Sources

AABB. Guidelines for patient blood management and blood utilization. Bethesda (MD): AABB; 2011. 52 p.

Lin DM, Lin ES, Tran MH. Efficacy and safety of erythropoietin and intravenous iron in perioperative blood management: a systematic review.Transfus Med Rev. 2013 Oct;27(4):221–34.

Friedman AJ, Chen Z, Ford P, Johnson CA, Lopez AM, Shander A, Waters JH, van Wyck D. Iron deficiency anemia in women across the life span.J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2012 Dec;21(12):1282–9.