Current literature addresses optimal thresholds for transfusing surgical and critically ill patients but often leaves oncologic patients behind even though the majority of transfusions in the developing world support cancer patients. Multiple comorbidities and high mortality rates create major challenges when studying this population leaving clinicians to guide practice based on small observational studies or expert opinions. The goal of this educational session is to discuss common questions that arise when transfusing cancer patients. Given the paucity of controlled data related to oncology patients, we will pose topics to a panel of transfusion experts from leading cancer centers to establish consensus on standard of care where it exists and to spark debate on best practices where different opinions arise.
Topics may include:
Transfusion thresholds for blood components. The most recent AABB guidelines exclude definitive hemoglobin thresholds for oncology patients. What is practice at each institution? Why was that threshold selected? Does thrombocytopenia influence hemoglobin threshold? How do you address Patient Blood Management?
Process to share transfusion history with community hospitals, referring medical centers, and patients.
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation. How do you select blood products for ABO/Rh? How do you determine engraftment?
Granulocytes. How, when, and do you provide granulocyte support for neutropenic patients? In addition to educating the audience on various approaches to transfusion practices in cancer patients, assembling this team of experts to debate expert opinion could spur identifying topics for research projects and guideline development.
Appreciate consensus in managing transfusion care for cancer patients
Evaluate differences in transfusion medicine practice among leading cancer centers
Identify areas of needed future research for transfusion practices in oncology