Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Dartmouth-hitchcock researchers find hormone decreases need for blood transfusions

11.12.2002


Results of a 2 ½ year study led by doctors at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center could have implications for the nation’s decreasing blood supply.



In an article published in the December 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Drs. Howard L Corwin and Andrew Gettinger describe the effects of administering recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) to critically ill patients. Significantly, they found that use of the hormone, which stimulates red blood cell production, resulted in a 19 percent reduction in red blood cell transfusion to those patients.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted at 65 centers between December 1998 and June 2001. 1,302 patients who had been in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for two days and were expected to be in ICU for at least two more days, were enrolled. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either 40,000 units of rHuEPO or placebo on day three in the ICU. These doses then continued weekly.


The study found that patients who received rHuEPO were less likely to need a transfusion of red blood cells and showed a greater increase in hemoglobin. "Weekly therapy with 40,000 units of rHuEPO in critically ill patients results in a significant reduction in their exposure to … RBC tranfusions," the authors wrote.

Current estimates are that 35-50 percent of all patients admitted to ICU’s in the U.S. and Western Europe receive almost 5 RBC units during their ICU stay. Concern about infection and suppression of the immune system as a result of transfusions have led doctors to seek alternatives that would reduce these risks, while not neglecting the anemia that is common in ICU patients.

"The view of RBC transfusion as risk-free is no longer tenable," the authors note. "Adding to the controversy about risk-benefit ratio for RBC transfusion are recent data showing that an aggressive RBC transfusion strategy may decrease the likelihood of survival in selected subgroups of critically ill adults."

Reducing reliance on blood transfusions could have many benefits, according to the authors: "Not transfusing "unnecessary" units of RBC avoids the morbidity and mortality directly associated with each RBC unit transfused, as well as the potential for medical errors associated with the transfusion process itself." And, referring to the state of the nation’s blood supply, they write, "The avoidance of unnecessary blood transfusions would also save a resource that is becoming increasingly scarce."

While further study is needed to assess the cost-effectiveness of the therapy, as well as its effects on clinical outcomes, Dr. Gettinger is encouraged that initial findings may lead to improved results for critically-ill patients, and lessen reliance on blood transfusion generally: "The standard of care in manging the anemia in critically ill patients has always been to tranfuse allogeneic blood," he said. "As risks of allogeneic blood are better understood, the opportunity to treat anemia with a non-blood product alternative and decrease the dependence on an increasingly scarce resource is significant."


###
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) is an integrated academic medical center located on a 225-acre campus in the heart of New Hampshire’s Upper Connecticut River Valley in Lebanon. DHMC comprises Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital (a 396-bed tertiary care hospital), the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic (a network of more than 900 primary and specialty care physicians located throughout New Hampshire and Vermont), Dartmouth Medical School and the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center Memorial Hospital in White River Junction, VT.

Deborah Kimbell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.dartmouth.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht Flexible sensors can detect movement in GI tract
11.10.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

Im Focus: New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

Im Focus: Small collisions make big impact on Mercury's thin atmosphere

Mercury, our smallest planetary neighbor, has very little to call an atmosphere, but it does have a strange weather pattern: morning micro-meteor showers.

Recent modeling along with previously published results from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft -- short for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

Conference Week RRR2017 on Renewable Resources from Wet and Rewetted Peatlands

28.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A single photon reveals quantum entanglement of 16 million atoms

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline

16.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

On the generation of solar spicules and Alfvenic waves

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>