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Can erythropoietin therapy improve survival?

Anemia is a significant problem for cancer patients, especially those receiving chemotherapy. Preventing or treating anemia in these patients has clear cut quality of life improvements for the patients AND their care givers. Glaspy et al. furthermore tackle the important issue of survival and venous thromboembolism in their review article. They convincingly make the case […]

A comparison of albumin and saline for fluid resuscitation in the intensive care unit.

Essential reading material. The largest PRCT of Albumin vs Saline in 7,000 critically ill patients in Australia and New Zealand. Concludes “no-difference” in 28 day mortality. Subset trends to excess mortality with Albumin in trauma and head injury (more intra-cerebral bleeds) and reduced mortality with Albumin in sepsis. For those of us that never use […]

Erythropoietin to treat head and neck cancer patients with anaemia undergoing radiotherapy: randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

This study by Henke et al. is certainly provocative. It reports a poor disease free and overall survival in head and neck cancer patients receiving locoregional radiation therapy. What might explain this negative tumor and overall survival effect in this erythropoietin study when virtually every other erythropoietin study has not had such an observation? First […]

Acute normovolemic hemodilution and intraoperative cell salvage in aortic surgery.

This retrospective study reviews the blood conservation strategy developed in patients undergoing infrarenal aortic surgery in a tertiary vascular unit from 1995 to 2001. The authors show that the judicious association of acute normovolemic hemodilution and intraoperative cell salvage combined with restrictive transfusion triggers and careful surgery can dramatically reduce the use of allogeneic blood […]

Effect of blood transfusion on long-term survival after cardiac operation.

The authors studied a database of 1,915 patients who underwent isolated first time myocardial revascularization between 1994 and 1997 and found that blood transfusions during or after coronary artery bypass operations were associated with increased long-term mortality (risk ratio = 1.7; 95% confidence interval = 1.4 to 2.0). This retrospective database analysis is important and […]