Safety and current status of blood transfusion in China.

Yu X, Huang Y, Qu G, Xu J, Hui S
Lancet 2010;375(9724):1420-1421.
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Review by : A. Maniatis
NATA Review

In the article entitled “Safety and current status of blood transfusion in China”, Yu et al. describe the difficulties in blood procurement and blood conservation in the Beijing area. Because voluntarily donated blood cannot cover the demand and because the incidence of certain infections (HIV, hepatitis B) continues to be high in the population, the authors suggest an increase in the use of autologous blood; what they mean is intraoperatively salvaged blood, which however has a higher cost: a unit of blood (200 mL)costs 28-42$ whereas autologous blood (250-750 mL) costs 140$. Persuading surgeons to make the extra effort and the state to authorize the extra cost does not seem to be an easy task!

– Alice Maniatis