Obstetricians and Gynecologists care for many patients with conditions potentially requiring blood transfusions. Cesarean section and hysterectomy are the two surgeries performed most frequently and both have the potential for blood loss requiring transfusion. Other examples include postpartum hemorrhage, placenta previa, and ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Obstetricians and gynecologists need to become knowledgeable about the ever-changing aspects of blood transfusion and apply it in their clinical practice. This review intends to update obstetricians and gynecologists and other health care professionals about the basic as well as the latest technologies of blood transfusion. The different types of blood components are discussed including their preparation, indications, risks, and benefits. The complications of blood transfusion and their management are reviewed, including infectious, noninfectious, and immunological etiologies. HIV and hepatitis are explored, these being the most serious infectious risks of transfusion. Autologous blood transfusion, an underutilized option, is examined. Hemodilution and intraoperative blood salvage, other techniques for using the patient's own blood, are discussed. Finally, synthetic agents such as erythropoietin, granulocyte colony-stimulating factors, desmopressin acetate, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, and new products are introduced as potential replacements to blood transfusion in the future.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology