Joint ASH and AABB educational session. Hematology / the Education Program of the American Society of Hematology. American Society of Hematology. Education Program Goodnough, L. T., Hewitt, P. E., Silliman, C. C. 2004: 457-472


In the vein-to-vein flow of blood from donor to patient, the role of the transfusion medicine specialist has become increasingly centered at the bedside. Three clinically centered issues in blood safety and in blood conservation are presented in this chapter. In Section I, Dr. Patricia Hewitt presents the epidemiologic and clinical evidence regarding new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (nvCJD) in the UK and its relevance to transfusion medicine. Lessons learned from the responses by the National Blood Service to this crisis are discussed, particularly in the context of recent evidence of a case of vCJD transmission by blood transfusion and a second case of apparent transmission of abnormal prion protein without development of clinical illness. In Section II, Dr. Christopher Silliman and his colleagues summarize recent knowledge gained regarding transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI), which is now the leading cause of transfusion-related mortality. Two different etiologies have been proposed: a single antibody-medicated event, involving anti-HLA Class I and Class II, or anti-granulocyte antibodies; and a two-event model, which includes the clinical condition of the patient resulting in pulmonary endothelial activation and neutrophil sequestration. The second event is the transfusion of a biologic response modifier (lipids or antibodies) in the blood component that activates primed neutrophils. Prevention, clinical treatment, and proposed definition of TRALI are discussed. In Section III, Dr. Lawrence Goodnough and colleagues present a transfusion medicine service approach to the utilization of recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) in non-approved clinical settings. rFVIIa has a potential role as a hemostatic intervention in a variety of clinical settings, yet few clinical trials have been completed to date to guide indications for its use. The policies presented here are those in place at the authors' medical center, and will undergo periodic review and revision as relevant new information and data are generated.

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