ABSTRACT: In the absence of specific recommendations on blood transfusion in elderly subjects, we carried out a survey to assess transfusion practices in geriatric medicine.
A descriptive, national, cross-sectional survey was conducted in 14 French geriatric departments (12 teaching hospitals and two general hospitals). In each department, five patients receiving transfusions were randomly selected in order to analyze their characteristics, the indications of blood transfusion, the criteria for and the methods of transfusion compared with Afssaps recommendations on transfusion thresholds.
Data were analyzed for 70 patients (mean age 86+/-7 years, sex ratio female to male 1.8, with an average of five+/-two pathologies and six+/-three treatments). The indicators of poor tolerance included confusion (23 %), somnolence (22 %), acute heart failure (17 %) or coronary heart disease (16 %), and differed from the Afssaps criteria in the majority of cases. The transfusion threshold that were considered in the absence of poor tolerance (45 % of transfusions) differed from that recommended by Afssaps in 26 % of cases. The main adverse event in transfusion recipients was heart failure.
When criteria for poor anaemia tolerance or transfusion thresholds are considered, transfusion practices in geriatric subjects have specific features. Further studies are needed to validate the appropriateness of the practices described in this survey.
La Revue de Médecine Interne 12/2009; 31(2):91-6. · 0.61 Impact Factor