The Coffee Memorial Blood Center in Amarillo, Texas, is working with area hospitals to reduce unnecessary blood transfusions in an effort to address low blood supplies. The Northwest Texas Healthcare System has tapped a company with a Web-based program that can analyze whether or not patients should have received a blood transfusion, helping to educate staff on blood use. The Baptist St. Anthony's Health System is using Cell Saver, a device that collects patients' blood during surgery and prepares to pump it back if needed.
This idea is nothing new. When at St Luke's in Houston, already Texas Heart Institute had developed ways to save blood during surgeries. Fortunately, some doctors have been educated about efficiency in transfusion medicine. The days of only whole blood transfusion are over.