BOSTON, Sept. 30, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Blood transfusion has been a standard of medical practice for decades, yet the safety and efficacy of blood transfusions is somewhat ill-defined in comparison with other common medical and surgical interventions. Addressing the need for greater understanding of the safe use of blood products, the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) today introduces an online resource to educate health professionals about the practice of patient blood management, or PBM.

Patient Blood Management through the Lens of Patient Safety was developed with the support of an educational grant from Haemonetics, an international company specializing in products and services related to blood management. NPSF convened a distinguished panel of subject matter experts who worked collaboratively to develop the content, which, prior to release, was reviewed by a separate and independent three-person expert panel.

PBM is the scientific use of safe and effective medical and surgical techniques designed to minimize and manage anemia and decrease bleeding in an effort to improve patient outcomes. The practice involves multidisciplinary and multimodality preventive measures to decrease the need for blood transfusions.

Research conducted during the past few decades has provided data about the risks associated with blood transfusions. Study findings suggest that more restrictive transfusion strategies are safe for most patient populations. With current estimates indicating that nearly 1 out of 10 hospitalized patients receive blood transfusions, the potential for a significant change in practice is high.

"We are grateful to Haemonetics and to the subject matter experts who volunteered their time to produce this important work," said Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, president and chief executive officer of NPSF. "With this educational module, we hope to see more health professionals putting these strategies into practice, which in turn can help lead to safer care."

The five-part program combines a monograph with video lectures, allowing learners to review the material at their own pace. Continuing education or continuing medical education credits are available to those who complete the program.

"We were very pleased to be able to support NPSF in the development of this educational program," said Byron Selman, president, Global Markets, Haemonetics. "At Haemonetics, we strongly believe in the safe and efficient use of blood products, and we believe the work that NPSF has produced will prove very helpful to those working across the continuum of health care."

On October 21, from 4:00 to 5:00 pm Eastern Time, NPSF is also offering a webcast on this topic featuring members of the expert panel that developed the content. Thanks to underwriting by Haemonetics, this webcast is being offered at no charge, but registration is required. To register or learn more about the educational module, visit the website.

Patient Blood Management Through the Lens of Patient Safety
Expert Panel Members

Victor A. Ferraris, MD, PhD
Tyler Gill Professor of Surgery
University of Kentucky
College of Medicine
Section Chief Cardiothoracic
Lexington VA Medical Center

Anita L. Fligge, RN
Clinical Project Manager
Transfusion Safety Officer
John Muir Health

Sherri Ozawa, RN
Clinical Director
Patient Blood Management
Institute for Patient Blood Management & Bloodless Medicine and Surgery
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center

Meredith A. Reyes, MD
Associate Director of Transfusion Medicine
Co-Director of Community Pathology Laboratory Services
Houston Methodist Hospital

Jennifer Rhamy, MBA, MA, MT(ASCP)SBB, HP
Regional Blood Donor Center
St. Mary's Hospital

About the National Patient Safety Foundation

The National Patient Safety Foundation's vision is to create a world where patients and those who care for them are free from harm. A central voice for patient safety since 1997, NPSF partners with patients and families, the health care community, and key stakeholders to advance patient safety and health care workforce safety and disseminate strategies to prevent harm. NPSF is an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. To learn more about the Foundation's work, visit and follow @theNPSF on Twitter.

About Haemonetics

At Haemonetics, our comprehensive portfolio of devices, information management, and consulting services offers blood management solutions for each facet of the blood supply chain — from plasma and blood collectors to hospitals. We believe that through proper blood management, our portfolio of products and services helps to prevent a transfusion for the patient who doesn't need one and provides the right blood product, at the right time, in the right dose to the right patient who does.

Patricia McTiernan