This second Austrian benchmark study confirms the results observed in the first study published in 2007, i.e. 1) high variability in RBC transfusion, 2) poor management of preoperative anaemia, 3) unchanged blood ordering pattern despite a decreased in transfusion rate, and 4) maintenance of the “2-unit” transfusion strategy.

These results indicate that repeated benchmarks alone are not sufficient to improve patient blood management in major surgery. Benchmarks should be associated with the implementation of specific measures at each individual centre, and the effectiveness of implemented measures should be monitored.

– Philippe Van der Linden

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