Best Clinical Practice: Red Blood Cell Transfusion in the Emergency Department

Brit Long, Alex Koyfman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Background: Transfusion of red blood cells (RBCs) is the primary management of anemia, which affects 90% of critically ill patients. Anemia has been associated with a poor prognosis in various settings, including critical illness. Recent literature has shown a hemoglobin transfusion threshold of 7 g/dL to be safe. This review examines several aspects of transfusion. Objective: We sought to provide emergency physicians with an updated review of indications for RBC transfusion in the emergency department. Discussion: The standard hemoglobin transfusion threshold was 10 g/dL. However, the body shows physiologic compensatory adaptations to chronic anemia. Transfusion reactions and infections are rare but can have significant morbidity and mortality. Products stored for

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 6 2016


  • Blood product
  • Indications
  • Product age
  • RBC
  • Transfusion
  • Transfusion reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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