Blood transfusions in critically ill cancer patients remain an area of uncertainty

Imrana Alam Malik, Konrad Reinhart


In a single center, randomized, controlled trial entitled “Liberal Versus Restrictive Transfusion Strategy in Critically Ill Oncologic Patients: The Transfusion Requirements in Critically Ill Oncologic Patients Randomized Controlled Trial”, the authors conclude that a liberal strategy for blood transfusions (hemoglobin threshold <9 g/dL) may be more favorable in adult cancer patients with septic shock, compared to a restrictive strategy which utilized a hemoglobin threshold of <7 g/dL (1). The transfusions included only leukodepleted units, and hematologic malignancy patients were excluded due to high inherent transfusion requirements.