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Computerized quality assurance of decisions to transfuse blood components to critically ill patients

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In critically ill patients optimal transfusion therapy for most clinical settings has not been determined. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of a computerized audit on transfusion decisions of red blood cells (RBC), fresh frozen plasma (FFP), and platelets among critically ill patients. Methods: 

Two hundred and ninety consecutive patients admitted to nine-bed medical-surgical intensive care unit at a university hospital were included in this prospective study. Prior to the study, the criteria for transfusions of RBCs, FFP and platelets were established. Phase I, the first 3-month period served as a control period. During phase II the fulfilment of these criteria was prospectively monitored by an audit software belonging to the computerized blood request program. If the predefined transfusion criteria were not met the audit software was automatically activated. The last 3-month period, phase III, was to assess if possible effects on transfusion decisions were permanent. Results: 

The proportion of RBC transfusions administered according to predefined trigger during the study phases I, II, and III were 55.9%, 75.1% and 67.9%, respectively (P < 0.001). The proportion of FFP and platelet transfusions according to a predefined trigger did not differ statistically significantly between the study phases. Logistic multiple regression analysis revealed an independent effect of the audit phase on the decision to transfuse RBCs and FFP. Conclusions: 

The data suggests that a computerized prospective transfusion audit has impact on the realisation of predefined transfusion decisions.
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Keywords: Computerized audit; fresh frozen plasma; intensive care; platelet; quality assurance; red blood cell; transfusion

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Central Hospital of Kymenlaakso, Kotka, Finland, and 2: Laboratory Department and 3: Intensive Care Unit, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: 2003-09-01

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