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J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol. 2019 Apr-Jun;35(2):261-266. doi: 10.4103/joacp.JOACP_296_18.

Current transfusion practices of anesthesiologists in a major city in South India.

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Department of Anaesthesiology, ASTER MIMS, Calicut, Kerala, India.
Department of Anaesthesiology, BMH, Calicut, Kerala, India.
Department of Anaesthesiology, Govt. Medical College, Calicut, Kerala, India.
Department of Anaesthesiology, MEITRA, Calicut, Kerala, India.


Background and Aims:

Allogenic blood transfusion is a double edged sword with a delicate balance between benefits and risks. There is heavy use of blood products in the perioperative setting mostly initiated by anesthesiologists. Limited research has been done in evaluating the transfusion practices of anesthesiologists especially in Indian setting. We conducted a survey among the anesthesiologists in our city to assess their blood transfusion practices, to evaluate the level of adherence to principles of Patient Blood Management and to look for innovative strategies to improve the perioperative transfusions.


A validated questionnaire with four sets of questions was distributed among the practitioners in the Indian Society of Anaesthesiologists city branch and the responses were collected and analysed. The first and second parts were structured to assess the current blood transfusion practices. The third part evaluated the keenness of participants in further updating their practices as per the recommended protocols of patient blood management. The last part assessed how the participants would act in a given clinical scenario. Statistical analysis was done using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 21. Results are expressed in numbers and percentages.


Moderate preoperative anemia was acceptable to majority of the responders. There was a high demand for continuing medical education in transfusion medicine and for formulating Indian guidelines for perioperative transfusion. The clinical scenarios demonstrated the restrictive transfusion strategy of the majority of our anesthesiologists. The lack of institutional protocols and blood transfusion committees was also seen.


The restrictive strategy of our practitioners was an encouraging finding. There is lack of uniformity in patient blood management services. Regular educational interventions are needed to update the clinicians. Formulation and implementation of institutional protocols for perioperative blood transfusion is mandatory.


Patient blood management; survey; transfusion protocols

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