In addition to historically important issues of blood inventory and blood safety, the costs of blood transfusion are anticipated to have an increasingly important impact on transfusion practices. To address this, we analyzed costs of blood support given to patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, along with costs of blood components whose transfusions were identified to be unnecessary.Blood components transfused as part of a previously reported national, multicenter audit of 30 adult patients each at 18 institutions undergoing primary, elective CABG surgery were reviewed.The range of blood purchase costs among institutions was broad, varying over two-fold. The range of red cell units transfused varied over 10-fold, and the range of total components transfused varied over 40-fold. The number of blood components transfused unnecessarily represented 27% of all blood units transfused, ranging from 7% to 43% among institutions. Inappropriate transfusions accounted for 47%, 32%, and 15% of all platelet, plasma, and red cell units transfused. The mean institutional cost for all blood components transfused per patient was $397 +/- $244. The cost per patient of components transfused inappropriately was 24% of this, or $96 +/- $89 (mean +/- SD).These costs could be reduced with practice guidelines and quality improvement programs aimed at reducing the number of inappropriate transfusions.
View details for Web of Science ID A1993LC87400010
View details for PubMedID 8498396