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Herbert. Transfusion requirements of critically ill. NEJM 1999

Created: 22/5/2007

Paper type

Multicenter, randomized, controlled clinical trial


Hebert PC, Wells G, Blajchman MA et al. Canadian Critical Care Trials Group.
A multicenter, randomized, controlled clinical trial of transfusion requirements in critical care.
New England Journal of Medicine 1999; 340: 409-417.

Major Finding

A restrictive strategy of red-cell transfusion (hemoglobin concentrations maintained at 7.0 to 9.0 g/dl) is at least as effective as and possibly superior to a liberal transfusion strategy (hemoglobin concentrations were maintained at 10.0 to 12.0 g/dL) in critically ill patients. A possible exception to this recommendation are patients with acute myocardial infarction and unstable angina.

Point for discussion:

Given the type of patients enrolled into the trial, can this recommendation be safely extrapolated to critically ill patients with ARDS and multi-organ failure?

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