Committees  |   June 2017
When Blood Is Not an Option: The Case for a Standardized Blood Transfusion Consent Form
Author Affiliations
  • Nicole R. Guinn, M.D.
    Committee on Patient Blood Management
  • Charles E. Smith, M.D.
    Committee on Patient Blood Management
Article Information
Coagulation and Transfusion / Committees
Committees   |   June 2017
When Blood Is Not an Option: The Case for a Standardized Blood Transfusion Consent Form
ASA Monitor 06 2017, Vol.81, 48-50.
ASA Monitor 06 2017, Vol.81, 48-50.
Blood transfusion is the most common invasive procedure performed in the United States.1  Studies have shown that augmenting the necessary consent discussions with simplified written materials can improve patient recall, comprehension and satisfaction.2  No standardized resources have been implemented, however. We suggest that a standardized patient information worksheet and a consent form clearly documenting a patient’s wishes, particularly those patients for whom blood transfusion is not an option, will help facilitate safe care across the entire health care team, increase anesthesiologist comfort in obtaining consent, and improve patient understanding and satisfaction.
Whether in perioperative management, trauma or obtaining consent, the challenges presented by patients who decline blood are significant. Fortunately, blood conservation methods such as cell salvage, acute normovolemic hemodilution, and newer pharmacotherapies such as prothrombin complex concentrates and recombinant products, have given physicians and patients more treatment options than ever before. Discussing these with patients can at times be difficult for anesthesiologists. Some may feel there is not enough time to discuss a more extensive list of treatments and alternatives, while others may not be familiar with the most up-to-date advances in transfusion medicine.
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