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The Journal of Critical Care Medicine

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Anemia in Intensive Care: A review of Current Concepts

Gautam Rawal
  • Corresponding author
  • Respiratory Intensive Care, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, New Delhi, India
  • Flat No. 417, Dhruva Apartments, Plot no. 4, I P Extension, Patparganj, Delhi, India, Pin-110092.
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/ Raj Kumar / Sankalp Yadav / Amrita Singh
Published Online: 2016-08-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jccm-2016-0017


Anemia in patients admitted to an intensive care unit is common and affects almost all critically ill patients. The intensivist is faced with the challenge of treating multifactorial etiologies, mainly bleeding and blood loss due to phlebotomy and decreased erythropoiesis. Red cell transfusion, the most common treatment for anemia, comes with associated risks, which may further reduce the chance of survival of these patients. The best evidence suggests the practice of restrictive RBC transfusion (transfusion at Hb<7 g/dl).

In this article, the etiopathogenesis of the anemia in critically ill is reviewed, and current opinion on the pros and cons of various management strategies are discussed with emphasize on restrictive transfusion policy.

Keywords: anemia; critical illness; erythropoietin; intensive care; red blood cell; transfusion


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About the article

Received: 2016-05-05

Accepted: 2016-06-29

Published Online: 2016-08-10

Published in Print: 2016-07-01

Citation Information: The Journal of Critical Care Medicine, ISSN (Online) 2393-1817, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jccm-2016-0017.

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© 2016. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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