Tubes that collect less blood for lab testing associated with fewer transfusions in critically ill patients

Oct. 16, 2023
New study.

Switching from regular to small-volume blood tubes may reduce transfusions in intensive care unit (ICU) patients, suggests a study led by McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences researchers at the Population Research Health Institute (PHRI).

Frequent blood testing that is required for critically ill patients in the ICU can lead to anemia, which results in the need for blood transfusions, a scarce and costly intervention with well-described risks. Only small amounts of blood are needed for testing and most of the collected blood is discarded.

The study shows that commercially available tubes, which automatically draw less blood, are just as effective for blood testing while reducing the degree of anemia and in turn, the amount of blood transfusions required. The small-volume tubes cost the same and can be used with the same laboratory equipment as regular tubes. The study included 25 intensive care units in Canada and involved over 27,000 patients.

McMaster University release on Newswise