Andrew R. Wiesen, MD; Duane R. Hospenthal, MD, PhD; John C. Byrd, MD; Kevin L. Glass, MD; Robin S. Howard, MA; Louis F. Diehl, MD
Wiesen AR, Hospenthal DR, Byrd JC, Glass KL, Howard RS, Diehl LF. Equilibration of Hemoglobin Concentration after Transfusion in Medical Inpatients Not Actively Bleeding. Ann Intern Med. 1994;121:278-280. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-121-4-199408150-00009
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1994;121(4):278-280.
More than 12 million units of packed erythrocytes are transfused annually [1, 2]. Because blood products became widely used after World War II, hundreds of millions of units have been given [1-4]. Major textbooks state that an increase of 10 g/L (1 g/dL) of hemoglobin is expected per unit of blood transfused [5-10]. Authors [5, 8, 11] have implied that after transfusion, the rate at which the hemoglobin concentration equilibrates takes about 24 hours, but the supporting evidence is scant. The ability to rapidly determine the increase in hemoglobin levels after transfusion is important in managing outpatients and acutely ill patients. A standard time to measure the hemoglobin levels would save unnecessary blood draws.
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