PURPOSE: Decrease the iatrogenic blood loss in the ICU due to blood drawn for routine laboratory tests.
METHODS: In 2000 58 randomly selected ICU patients had their blood drawn for laboratory testing accurately quantified for 24 hours. This included blood loss due to line draws in which significant blood discard to obtain a specimen suitable for laboratory testing. Processes were put into place to prevent duplicate blood draws and maximize the use of blood already drawn for other blood testing on all patients in the ICU. In 2009 after these process changes were implemented 48 randomly selected ICU patients were selected to compare their blood drawn for laboratory testing for 24 hours.
RESULTS: The iatrogenic blood loss for the 58 patients in 2000 was determined to be 88mL/day/patient. In 2009 the iatrogenic blood loss the 48 patients was found to be reduced to 60 mL/day/patient. When compared to that found in 2000, this represents a 32% reduction in blood loss per typical patient due to laboratory testing.
CONCLUSION: Though these studies were limited, they did indicate significant progress in regards to reducing iatrogenic blood loss within the ICU. This can be indirectly translated into improved yet undetermined patient care outcomes at reduced cost.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The recent Joint Commission Initiative in transfusion medicine is to be instituted in 2010 and will assess such key patient care variables related to blood transfusion.
DISCLOSURE: Grace Liniewska, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information