Dr. Dean Joelson has been named Medical Director of the Piedmont Healthcare Patient Blood Management Program. He has been and will be working closely with PHC’s new Transfusion Safety Officer and medical staff at all Piedmont Hospitals to ensure our patients have the highest quality of care in the arena of Transfusion Medicine.
So what is patient blood management? The idea behind it is simple: it’s a patient-centered approach designed to maximize the amount of a patient’s own blood flowing within him/her and minimize the amount of other people’s blood flowing within him/her.
Blood transfusions have been linked with worse patient outcomes, including increased hospital-acquired infections, increased length of stay within the hospital, and increased mortality. The reason behind these poorer outcomes is that a blood transfusion is, quite simply, a liquid organ transplant. Sometimes, of course, we are willing to accept these risks in order to save an anemic or bleeding patient’s life.
But as we gain more knowledge about human physiology, we have begun to learn that most patients can tolerate quite a bit of anemia, and that it’s often safer to allow them to recover on their own than to transfuse them someone else’s blood. So we strive to ensure that every transfusion is absolutely necessary.
Because patient blood management is about the patient.