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Hospital Blood Transfusions Have More Than Doubled Since 1993

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release Date: September 21, 2005

From 1993 to 2003, patients requiring at least one blood transfusion during their hospital stay increased from 829,000 cases to nearly 2 million cases, according to the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

  • Transfusions are needed when patients are severely anemic or when they have lost blood due to injury or surgery.
  • From 1993 to 2003, hospital admissions of patients found to have anemia increased from 2.4 million to 4.1 million. This includes:
    • Iron deficiency anemia.
    • Anemia associated with chronic illness such as kidney disease.
    • Other unspecified anemia.
  • The number of patients with acute post-hemorrhagic anemia—severe blood loss that can occur with some types of injuries or surgeries—decreased from 829,000 cases in 1993 to 746,000 cases in 2003.


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