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J Med Econ. 2013;16(5):633-8. doi: 10.3111/13696998.2013.778269. Epub 2013 Mar 19.

The burden of blood transfusion: a utilization and economic analysis--a pilot study in patients with chemotherapy-induced anemia (CIA).

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RJM Group LLC, Crown Point, IN 46307, USA.



The objective is to measure the burden of blood transfusion of Packed Red Blood Cells (PRBCs) in patients with chemotherapy-induced anemia (CIA) on the institutional outpatient transfusion center.


This is a retrospective chart review (starting July 1, 2010, working backwards until 120 evaluable patients are accrued) at a single institutional transfusion center in the US. The mean and standard deviation (SD) were calculated for patient's age, pre-transfusion Hgb level, and other transfusion-related activities.


One hundred and twenty records were reviewed. The majority included patients who were female (71%), African American (61%), and had either Medicare (48%) or private insurance (39%). The mean patient age was 59 years and the average pre-transfusion Hgb was 7.9 g/dL. The average patient visit to facility ranged from 213 min for one PRBC unit to 411 minutes for three PRBC units. The mean staff time for patient evaluation was 66 minutes. Actual time for transfusion was ∼100 min for each PRBC unit; 90% of patients received two PRBC units. Staff was engaged in direct patient care for an average of 322 min for two PRBC units. The labor cost of transfusion (in 2011 $US) ranged from $46.13-$49.33 per PRBC unit. The estimated fully loaded bundled cost was $596.49 for transfusion of one unit of PRBC. Limitations of the study include: the site included in this study may not be applicable to all sites in practice and the evaluated patient population was varied, with the exception that all patients were treated for some type of malignancy; and the review of blood bank records for 120 patients was not 120 independent events and, as such, may not have adequately captured actual variability.


This analysis quantifies expense in terms of time for administration of the transfusion, as well as costs associated with outpatient blood transfusions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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