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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


THOMSON, J et al. Patient blood management: A solution for South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2019, vol.109, n.7, pp.471-476. ISSN 2078-5135.

For more than 70 years the default therapy for anaemia and blood loss was mostly transfusion. Accumulating evidence demonstrates a significant dose-dependent relationship between transfusion and adverse outcomes. This and other transfusion-related challenges led the way to a new paradigm. Patient blood management (PBM) is the application of evidence-based practices to optimise patient outcomes by managing and preserving the patient's own blood. 'Real-world' studies have shown that PBM improves patient outcomes and saves money. The prevalence of anaemia in adult South Africans is 31% in females and 17% in males. Improving the management of anaemia will firstly improve public health, secondly relieve the pressure on the blood supply, and thirdly improve the productivity of the nation's workforce. While high-income countries are increasingly implementing PBM, many middle- and low-income countries are still trying to upscale their transfusion services. The implementation of PBM will improve South Africa's health status while saving costs.

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