Dr. Tina Palmieri, assistant chief of burns at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California, presented findings from a multi-center blood transfusion study at the 137th annual meeting of the American Surgical Association in Philadelphia on April 21.
Multicenter Randomized Prospective Trial of Blood Transfusion in Major Burn Injury was the title of the presentation in which Dr. Palmieri identified blood transfusion practices that could save $30 million annually in treating burn patients in the United States. Sixteen burn centers participated in the study, which was funded by the Department of Defense. It was one of only 32 studies selected for presentation at the national meeting of ASA, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious surgical organization.
“The purpose of the study was to identify the best strategy for transfusing blood after burn injury,” said Dr. Palmieri, adding that the trial revealed the following: “We compared a traditional approach to blood transfusion, in which blood is transfused at a blood count (hemoglobin) of 10 g/dL to a new restrictive approach, which transfuses at a blood count of 7 g/dL. The new restrictive approach reduced the number of transfusions by 50 percent without compromising survival, wound healing, or organ function. Using less blood will also likely decrease the transmission of infection, such as hepatitis, in burn patients.”
According to data provided by the American Burn Association, more than 486,000 people were treated for burn injuries in the United States in 2016. Of those, 40,000 were hospitalized for care.
“Patients with severe burn injuries often require blood transfusions. The goal of our research is to identify ways in which we can reduce the risks associated with transfusion, including infection and stress, so patients can enjoy a healthy recovery,” said Dr. Palmieri.
The following burn centers participated in the study:
- University of California Davis and Shriners Hospital for Children Northern California, Sacramento, CA;
- Wake Forest Baptist Health, Winston-Salem, NC;
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX;
- The Arizona Burn Center, Maricopa Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ;
- University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA;
- University of Utah Department of Surgery, Salt Lake City, UT;
- Institute of Surgical Research, San Antonio, TX;
- Community Regional Medical Center, Fresno, CA;
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada;
- Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, KS;
- Oregon Burn Center, Portland, OR;
- University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada;
- New Zealand National Burn Centre, Middlemore Hospital, Middlemore, New Zealand,
- University of Florida Health Science Center, Gainesville, FL;
- JM Still Burn Center, Augusta, Georgia
Shriners Hospitals for Children is devoted to transforming the lives of children through excellence in treatment, teaching and research. Located at 2425 Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California provides care to children with orthopaedic conditions, spinal cord injuries, burns, cleft lip, scars from any cause and other complex surgical needs. There are no barriers to care as admission is based on age and diagnosis. Care is provided regardless of the family’s ability to pay. For further information call (916) 453-2000.
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