The French agency on the safety of biological products did a superb job of synthesizing the world literature on the appropriate use of red cells and plasma. A group of experts first reviewed the existing data, the physiologic basis for transfusion of these blood products and prepared a preliminary document for review by another group of individuals interested and, hopefully, knowledgeable in the field (this reviewer was part of the reading committee for red cell transfusions). The end result is a comprehensive and up-to-date series of recommendations for the transfusion of red cells and plasma. The information will be useful to clinicians who want to stay well-informed in transfusion medicine. Unfortunately, the recommendations cannot go any further than the underlying science and, as for review articles, do not present truly novel information. Another limitation is that the articles are published exclusively in French, which limits the dissemination of these thorough reviews to a francophone audience. Hopefully, these will be translated into English in a near future.
– Jean-Franois Hardy