Blood transfusions are sometimes required to replace blood lost during surgery or following a serious injury. However, a new report suggests that doctors may be using transfusions more often than needed.
As Baltimore malpractice attorneys, we are concerned that this practice is putting patients at risk. The study, conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, suggests that some patients who receive blood transfusions actually fare worse. The study also revealed that doctors often use transfusions more frequently than might be necessary.
“Over the past five years, studies have supported giving less blood than we used to, and our research shows that practitioners have not caught up," said Dr. Steven M. Frank, leader of the study published in the journal Anesthesiology.
“Blood conservation is one of the few areas in medicine where outcomes can be improved, risk reduced and costs saved all at the same time," he said in a statement. “Nothing says it’s better to give a patient more blood than is needed."
As reported by Medscape, researchers acknowledged that many doctors order blood transfusions because they view the risks for viral transmission as low and that transfusions have few consequences. However, transfusions are not without risks, including immunomodulation, increased nosocomial infection, and possibly cancer recurrence.
“Clinicians should be cautious in giving blood to patients when the risks might outweigh the benefits," the study concludes. “Reducing such risks should be the goal of any well-managed blood utilization program."
“Transfusion is not as safe as people think," Dr. Frank noted.
The Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Hyatt & Weber, P.A.understand the potentially devastating impact of a serious medical mistake. If you or someone you love has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, we are here to help.Our injury attorneys are experienced and dedicated to pursuing the compensation you deserve.
To better understand your rights, contact us today at [email protected]or 410-777-5707 for a free consultation.
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