Study finds withdrawing less blood for ICU lab tests reduces patient strain, waste – CTV

Oct. 13, 2023

Intensive care units can collect less blood for lab tests and thereby reduce transfusions for critically ill patients who may have blood drawn multiple times a day, suggests a large study that says switching to lower-volume tubes can preserve the blood supply and reduce strain on already fragile patients.

Researchers note that 90 per cent of blood collected by a standard test tube — which can draw up to six millilitres — is wasted because only 0.5 ml of blood is needed for a typical lab test.

They compared the use of regular and lower-volumetubes for tests involving 27,000 patients at 25 intensive care units in Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Manitoba between 2019 and 2021, minus a five-month delay during the pandemic.

The study, published Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that using a tube that collects about half the amount provides more than enough blood for a typical lab test. The switch also saved one blood transfusion for every 10 patients in ICUs.

Read more:

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More