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December 11, 2002

Should Patients in Intensive Care Units Receive Erythropoietin?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick.

JAMA. 2002;288(22):2884-2886. doi:10.1001/jama.288.22.2884

Reducing the frequency of red blood cell transfusion is a goal of modern blood management. The primary driving force during the past 15 years has been safety. In the mid 1980s the HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) epidemic and frequent transmission of hepatitis C led to careful examination of transfusion practices.1 A review of the data available then showed no evidence for maintaining hemoglobin concentrations at 10 g/dL or hematocrit at 30%,1 the so-called 10/30 rule. Subsequent new guidelines urged a lower threshold and consideration of symptoms and other clinical parameters,2 although clinical judgment was the cornerstone of many of the recommendations.

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