Blood products can be life-saving: this has been shown time and time again in trauma, heart and transplant surgery, as well as life-threatening bleeding during and after childbirth. Meeting the demand for blood donations is difficult: it remains a worldwide challenge to increase supply while ensuring inappropriate transfusions do not occur. This is not only about conserving a precious commodity, but also accepting that blood products carry a significant risk profile and that we are still discovering more about possible longer term effects. Dr Sugavanam will give an overview of what we know and do not know about the benefits and risks of blood products and how we are trying to minimise the risks of someone needing a blood product transfusion, such as introducing a bedside test in operating theatres that tells us within minutes about the patients bleeding/clotting problems, using equipment donated by Friends of Brighton & Hove Hospitals.
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