The following excerpt is from Dr. AuBuchon's presentation during the Opening Session (October 22, 2011) of the 2011 AABB Annual Meeting and CTTXPO.
An area of interest that is going to be critical to our profession — with respect to both the quality of the services delivered to the patient and the cost of delivering those services — focuses on patient blood management (PBM). Patient blood management is an evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach to optimizing the care of patients who might need transfusion. To address the importance of this topic, AABB is:
- We are continuing to produce PBM educational resources, including publication of Guidelines for Patient Blood Management and Blood Utilization.
- We are dedicating a section of the AABB website to patient blood management issues, making it easier for you to locate our current resources and future postings.
- We have formed a Transfusion Safety and Patient Blood Management Group within the AABB Community to serve as a hub for professional networking.
- We have invited Jonathan Waters, MD, an advocate and expert in patient blood management and recently appointed associate editor of TRANSFUSION, to serve as an appointed member on the 2011-2012 AABB Board of Directors.
- In addition, we have added new questions on patient blood management activities to the 2011 National Blood Collection and Utilization Survey to focus additional attention on this area. The US Department of Health and Human Services has recognized the importance of ensuring that patients are optimally transfused only when necessary.
- We are collaborating with the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management to present eight webinars beginning in January 2012. The webinars are planned to give an overview of patient blood management, explore the blood management experience in several different patient populations, and review the role of data collection through specific case studies.
- Experts in the field have completed an online "primer" to help you get started in patient blood management. This resource will be available November 15 on the AABB website. This information will summarize the concepts of PBM and help you and your institution take the first steps toward creating a PBM program. The information is concise, accessible, and actionable for transfusion medicine professionals, so check it out. This digital download is free to AABB members.
- Additionally, we have created several Annual Meeting sessions on this topic, and I encourage each of you to attend at least one — if not all — of these programs.
In order to be effective, patient blood management must be a multi-disciplinary process involving transfusion service and laboratory medical directors, providers of perioperative autologous blood services, nurses, anesthesiologists, surgeons, and providers in other clinical specialties who care for patients who may need transfusion of blood components. Ideally, hospital clinical, operational, and administrative leaders — as well as blood center representatives — will be involved in establishing patient blood management programs. AABB is depending on you to help us reach the decision makers in your hospitals to build the case for implementation of this important initiative.
Together, we must continue to provide the best care based on the best available evidence — all suited to an individual patient's need. Evidence-based medicine — delivering health care that is clinically proven to be as safe and effective as possible for that patient — provides the best framework to manage new information about health and disease.