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Book and Media Reviews
December 5, 2007

Basics of Blood Management

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2007;298(21):2546-2552. doi:10.1001/jama.298.21.2547

“Let's try not to transfuse any blood today, gang!” says one of my favorite cardiac surgeons at the beginning of each operation. “Well, if you don't lose any blood, I won't have to give any!” is my somewhat flippant reply. That usually ends the conversation. What goes unsaid, but is understood on both sides of the ether screen, is that each party has a role in the reduction of hemorrhage and the treatment of coagulopathy.

Basics of Blood Management, by Petra Seeber and Aryeh Shander, is sponsored by the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management (SABM). It is meant to educate the beginning practitioner in the science of blood management. “Blood management is the philosophy to improve patient outcomes by integrating all available techniques to reduce or eliminate allogenic blood transfusions” (p 1). In the United States, the majority of transfusions are related to cancer therapy, trauma, and surgery. This book is appropriately weighted in that direction. Blood, the first tissue to be routinely and successfully transplanted, is taken for granted today. This text helps define practice and redirect attention.