Advances in transfusion medicine: gastrointestinal bleeding.
Oakland K., Jairath V., Murphy MF.
Gastrointestinal bleeding is a common medical and surgical emergency and is the second most common indication for red blood cell (RBC) transfusion in the UK. Most transfusion guidelines recommend the use of restrictive blood transfusion in stable gastrointestinal bleeding. This review explores the evidence supporting this practice, including whether it is safe in lower as well as upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and the risks of restrictive transfusion in patients with cardiovascular disease. There is a lack of evidence supporting the use of platelet and fresh frozen plasma transfusion in gastrointestinal bleeding. The aim of this review is to serve as a practical guide to transfusion in stable gastrointestinal bleeding.