Transfusion of blood products can be life saving when used appropriately. It carries however at the same time a potential for morbidity and mortality, depending on the patient, the product or the setting. Numerous strategies have been elaborated to minimize these risks, and in recent years, transfusion has no longer been regarded as essential for the management of a wide range of diseases. Uncomplicated surgeries in well-prepared patients can now be conducted without the use of transfusions. Questions about transfusion safety and shortage have led to extensive research on alternatives to blood transfusion, ranging from non-pharmacological to pharmacological solutions. Restrictive transfusion therapies, preoperative autologous blood donations, perioperative red cell salvage, acute normovolaemic haemodilution techniques or patient blood management are potential solutions where prothrombin complex or fibrinogen concentrates, synthetic anti-fibrinolytic agents, desmopressin, rFVIIa, or erythropoiesis stimulating agents may play a complementary pharmacologic role.
Blood transfusion in 2016 – Towards a “Nouvelle Vague” therapy?
Ethics and blood donation: a marriage of convenience
Jean-Daniel Tissot, Switzerland and Olivier Garraud, France
Past, present and forecast of transfusion medicine: What has changed and what is expected to change?
Amy E. Schmidt, Majed A. Refaai, Neil Blumberg, United States
Rethinking blood components and patients: Patient blood management. Possible ways for development in France
Red blood cell components: Meeting the quantitative and qualitative transfusion needs
Richard O. Francis, and Steven L. Spitalnik, United States
Platelet concentrates: Balancing between efficacy and safety?
Miguel Lozano, Joan Cid, Spain
Focus on fresh frozen plasma – facilitating optimal management of bleeding through collaboration between clinicians and transfusion specialists on component specifications
Sheila MacLennan, United Kingdom
The infectious risks in blood transfusion as of today – A no black and white situation
Olivier Garraud, Luiz Amorim Filho, Syria Laperche, Claude Tayou-Tagny, Bruno Pozzetto, France, Brazil, Cameroun
Immunological complications of blood transfusions
Anneke Brand, Netherlands
The outsider adverse event in transfusion: Inflammation
Elizabeth A. Godbey, Eldad A. Hod, United States
Revisiting transfusion safety and alternatives to transfusion
Patrick Schoettker, Carlos E. Marcucci, Gabriele Casso, Catherine Heim, Switzerland