Update on transfusion medicine

Aryeh Shander, Lawrence T. Goodnough

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Clinical pharmacists often participate on critical care teams that manage patients with bleeding emergencies. Although blood products are usually dispensed from the blood bank and not the pharmacy, pharmacists should be conversant in the language and trends of transfusion medicine, much like they are with other therapeutic agents. Toward that goal, this review provides a concise transfusion medicine tutorial, covering all commonly used blood products, including red blood cells, platelets, fresh frozen plasma, and plasma derivatives such as cryoprecipitate, prothrombin complex concentrates, and albumin. Usage patterns, the rationale for administering the various blood products, and studies that have attempted to determine appropriate criteria for ordering transfusions (transfusion triggers) are discussed. The benefits, risks, and several ongoing controversies that relate to the appropriateness and safety of blood product use are also summarized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57S-68S
Issue number9 II SUPPL.
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Critical care
  • Cryoprecipitate
  • Fresh frozen plasma
  • Pharmacy
  • Platelets
  • Prothrombin complex concentrates
  • Red blood cells
  • Transfusion medicine


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