The new AABB guidelines for red blood cell transfusions narrow the threshold for transfusion. A natural outgrowth is to emphasize blood conservation strategies, including reduced blood draws. There is no universal practice for the collection of blood or strategy for blood conservation. As such, it is often assumed that frequency and amounts of blood drawn vary with patient acuity, caregiver experience, and patient length of stay. Yet, a descriptive study did not identify any significant differences in these variables. Creating a culture of low-volume blood drawing may help to reduce blood transfusions.
M. Denise Barth, MSN, RN, CCRN, is a seasoned medical intensive care nurse and currently the Nurse Manager of an acute care medicine unit at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
Beth Quatrara, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, is a Clinical Nurse Specialist and the Director of the Nursing Research Program at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
Suzanne M. Burns, MSN, RN, RRT, ACNP, CCRN, FAAN, FCCM, FAANP, is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia School of Nursing and the Past-Director of the Nursing Research Program at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
Mark R. Conaway, PhD, is Professor and Director of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology in the Department of Health Evaluation Sciences at the University of Virginia.
The authors of this article have no conflicts of interest to disclose.