The Therapeutic Use of Red Blood Cells

G. M. Meny, L. Liao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A primary indication for red blood cell (RBC) transfusion is to prevent the adverse effects of inadequate tissue oxygenation when hemoglobin (Hgb) is low and physiological mechanisms to compensate for diminished oxygen deLivery are inadequate. Indications for transfusion have historically been guided by Hgb concentration. The conundrum facing researchers and healthcare providers is to identify the point when critical tissue oxygen deLivery is impaired to the extent that transfusion is required in a patient while avoiding unnecessary transfusion. This article will review basic physiological responses to RBC loss and indications for RBC transfusion in patients with acute and chronic anemia and conclude with a discussion of alternatives to transfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPathobiology of Human Disease
Subtitle of host publicationA Dynamic Encyclopedia of Disease Mechanisms
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780123864567
ISBN (Print)9780123864574
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Acute anemia
  • Autologous transfusion
  • Blood substitute
  • Chronic anemia
  • Critical hemoglobin concentration
  • Massive transfusion protocol
  • Pharmacological therapies
  • Red blood cells
  • Transfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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