What are the most important factors in planning patient blood management?

The patient blood management plan is specific for each patient. The approach depends on the kind of operation you are having (how much blood will be lost).

Your hemoglobin before the operation is the most important predictor of the need for blood transfusion. If you start with low hemoglobin, it can quickly become seriously low. The patient blood management team works to have your hemoglobin the best it can be before your operation.

Patient Blood Management Counselling

Your red blood cell volume is important. Blood volume is determined by body size. Smaller sized patients have a smaller red blood cell volume. Losing blood will have a greater effect on smaller patients.

An example to explain this:

If you have a 3 litre pail (small) and a 5 litre pail (large) and take 1 litre out of each pail, the smaller (3 liter) pail has 66% left (2/3) while the larger (5 liter) pail has 80% left (4/5).

Your health is also a factor. Lower hemoglobin is not as easily tolerated by patients who have heart or lung problems or patients who are over 75 years of age

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Last Updated September 3, 2008 | © 2007, LHSC, London Ontario Canada