In this excellent paper, the authors develop a mathematical model that may help our understanding of the efficiency of blood salvage. The basic insights from these theoretical considerations are that we should make all efforts to increase RBC recovery from the surgical field and use smaller bowls for low-weight and low-hematocrit patients. Difficulties in translating the results to the clinical situation mostly result from the unsolved problem of monitoring normovolemia with hematocrit changes but without blood loss, and from using a transfusion trigger where volumes are appropriate.

– Ernil Hansen