Background: More than 30% of the world's population are anemic with serious medical and economic consequences. Red blood cell transfusion is the mainstay to correct anemia, but it is also one of the top five overused procedures and carries its own risk and cost burden. Patient blood management (PBM) is a patient-centered and multidisciplinary approach to manage anemia, minimize iatrogenic blood loss, and harness tolerance to anemia in an effort to improve patient outcome. Despite resolution 63.12 of the World Health Organization in 2010 endorsing PBM and current guidelines which include evidence-based recommendations on the use of diagnostic/therapeutic resources to provide better health care, many hospitals have yet to implement PBM in routine clinical practice.
Method and results: A number of experienced clinicians developed the following "Simplified International Recommendations for Patient Blood Management." We propose a series of simple, cost-effective, best-practice, feasible, and evidence-based measures that will enable any hospital to reduce both anemia prevalence on the day of intervention/surgery and anemia-related unnecessary transfusion in surgical and medical patients, including obstetrics and gynecology.