As any therapeutic means, blood transfusion requires regular evaluation, particularly for its indications, effectiveness and risks. A better awareness of the risks of blood transfusion, the availability of randomized clinical trials, the evolution of the quality of blood components, and the economic constraints shared by all countries, all have led to rethink both transfusion therapy as a whole and the organization of the transfusion chain from donor to recipient. In this context, patient blood management (PBM) appears as an evidence-based, patient centred, multidisciplinary approach, aiming to optimise the care of patients who might need transfusion and consequently the use of blood products. This paper presents updated scientific bases of PBM and the three pillars founding it. As PBM is developing fast in other European countries, this review proposes ways to explore for its development in France. It finally proposes to integrate PBM in a wider and coordinated approach of the blood supply management, with tools to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the transfusion chain, starting with the needs of the patients and ending with an optimum treatment of the patient, including the appropriate number of blood components of the required quality. A better understanding, implementation and assessment of this coordinated global approach, allowing to adapt donor collections to the patients’ needs in compliance with safety requirements for patients and donors, in a coordinated way, will certainly be a major challenge for transfusion medicine in the near future, for the benefit of patients, donors and all other stakeholders involved in the transfusion chain.
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