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Blood-Saving Guidelines Work, Study Finds

A South Florida hospital says it  has dramatically reduced the need for blood transfusions -- and the resulting complications that sometimes occur -- through a few steps that other hospitals could easily adopt, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

In just four years, Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood saw heart surgery-related deaths, infections, strokes and re-operations all drop by 50 percent or more, according to a study by Dr. Robert Brooker, Memorial’s chief of cardiac anesthesia.

The blood-conservation guidelines that Memorial adopted in 2008 were  devised by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Some hospitals adopted them, but most have not yet done so.  In hope of pushing his peers to try it, Brooker presented the findings at last month’s annual conference of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.