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Neurotherapeutics. 2012 Jan;9(1):56-64. doi: 10.1007/s13311-011-0094-5.

Red blood cell transfusion in the neurological ICU.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. Monisha.Kumar@uphs.upenn.edu

Abstract

Red blood cell transfusion (RBCT) is a common therapy used in the intensive care unit to treat anemia. However, due to deleterious side effects and questionable efficacy, the clinical benefit of RBCT in patients who are not actively bleeding is unclear. The results of randomized controlled trials suggest there is no benefit to a liberal transfusion practice in general critical care populations. Whether the results of these trials are applicable to brain injured patients is unknown, as patients with primary neurological injury were excluded. This article reviews the efficacy and complications of RBCT, as well as the relationship between RBCT and its outcome in both the general intensive care unit and neurologically critically ill populations.

PMID:
22203525
PMCID:
PMC3271158
DOI:
10.1007/s13311-011-0094-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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