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Session Details

(9203) The Ethics of Massive Transfusion

Director/Moderator: Melissa George, DO, FCAP

Speakers: James Barbeau, MD, JD;  Evelyn Potochny, DO; Melissa George, DO, FCAP

Intended Audience: Physicians, Technologists, Nurses



·      Conduct interactive discussions and a mock ethics committee discussion in massive transfusion settings of medical futility- e.g., through and through gunshot wound to the heart, rationing in the setting of blood product shortage, a pregnant woman, and a minor.

·      Discuss the role of the hospital ethics committee in developing guidance for challenging massive transfusion cases.

·      Discuss ways to incorporate discussion of medical futility, blood product inventory, and assessment of ongoing hemostasis needs into massive transfusion protocol communications between the blood bank, surgery and anesthesiology personnel.


Event Description: This session covers resource allocation in massive transfusion scenarios including futility of care and blood product shortage. Issues relating to the age and gender of the patient and limitations on consent will also be discussed. A pre-conference survey will be sent to blood bank medical directors to query current thinking across a variety of scenarios of varying complexity and clinical situations, for example: motor vehicle accident, pregnancy, end of life. Data obtained from this survey will be used as a stimulus for discussion.

Event Level: Intermediate