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Transfusion Practice in the ICU: When Will We Apply the Evidence?

Andrew F. Shorr, MD, MPH; William L. Jackson, MD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Washington, DC
 ,  Dr. Shorr is affiliated with the Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine Service, Department of Medicine and the Critical Care Medicine Service, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and Dr. Jackson is affiliated with the Department of Surgery, Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Correspondence to: Andrew F. Shorr, MD, MPH, Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC 20307; e-mail: afshorr@dnamail.com



Chest. 2005;127(3):702-705. doi:10.1378/chest.127.3.702
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Anemia is a common problem in the ICU. The vast majority of patients are anemic on admission to the ICU.12 Among the few patients who have normal hemoglobin levels at presentation, nearly all become anemic during the course of their ICU stay.12 The causes for anemia in critically ill patients are manifold. In some instances, anemia results from acute blood loss after trauma, GI hemorrhage, or surgery. For other individuals, anemia arises because of earlier treatment with chemotherapeutic agents or because of the patient’s chronic medical conditions. All patients, however, are exposed to the risk of frequent phlebotomy. Some estimates13 have suggested that we remove nearly 60 mL blood per day from those in the ICU.

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