Blood conservation: cultural change in pediatric intensive care nursing
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While monitoring of pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) patients requires repeated blood sampling, excessive sampling can lead to anemia. Upon PICU admission, 33% of patients are anemic and 41% develop anemia. Anemia increases the PICU length of stay and days of mechanical ventilation. Anemia is often treated with red blood cell (RBC) transfusion, but RBC transfusion is associated with increased healthcare costs and morbidity. Blood conservation strategies are needed in the PICU; these changes in turn require changes in PICU practice and culture to reduce the amount of blood overdraw.
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