At least one expert believes the new guidelines focus too little on the individual patient. Dr. Jean-Louis Vincent, professor of intensive care at Erasme Hospital Free University of Brussels, wrote in an accompanying journal editorial that basing the decision to transfuse on hemoglobin levels alone is insufficient.
"Transfusion decisions need to consider individual patient characteristics, including age and the presence of [coronary artery disease] to estimate a specific patient's likelihood of benefit from transfusion," Vincent wrote. "The decision to transfuse is too complex and important to be based guided by a single number."
For more on blood transfusions, visit the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
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