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Blood Transfusions More Than Double Since 1997

AHRQ News and Numbers, September 24, 2009

AHRQ News and Numbers provides statistical highlights on the use and cost of health services and health insurance in the United States.

The number of hospital stays for patients who received blood transfusions increased by 140 percent (from 1.1 million to nearly 2.7 million) between 1997 and 2007, representing the largest increase in procedures not involving pregnancy or childbirth over the 11-year period, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Patients need blood transfusions because of sudden loss of blood from injuries, low red blood cell count before, during, or after surgery, cancer, or moderate to severe anemia.

The Federal agency found that other procedures not related to pregnancy or childbirth that increased significantly during the period included:

  • Knee surgeries—up 86 percent, from 329, 000 to 611,000 stays.
  • Hemodialysis for people with poor kidney functioning or end-stage renal disease—up 66 percent, from 473,000 stays to 786,000 stays.
  • Respiratory intubation and mechanical ventilation for people with respiratory failure—up 48 percent, from 919,000 stays to 1.4 million stays.
  • Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), a procedure to open blocked arteries in the heart—up 24 percent, from 581,000 stays to 722,000 stays.

This AHRQ News and Numbers summary is based on data from page 30 in HCUP Facts and Figures 2007 , which provides highlights of the latest data from the 2007 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a part of AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. The report provides data on leading reasons for hospitalization, such as arthritis, asthma, childbirth, cancer, diabetes, depression, and heart conditions, on procedures performed on hospital patients, and on related topics.

For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of September 2009
Internet Citation: Blood Transfusions More Than Double Since 1997: AHRQ News and Numbers, September 24, 2009. September 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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