Hemovigilance Training Associated With Decreased Blood Transfusion Rates

January 25, 2023

The introduction of hemovigilance transfusion training for incoming resident physicians at the McGill University Health Center (MUHC) was associated with a decrease in the rate of blood transfusion, according to a research letter published Monday in JAMA Network Open

In this quality improvement study, investigators compared rates of transfusion before and after the 2019 implementation of a quality improvement intervention in which resident physicians attended a 15-minute presentation on the importance of hemovigilance and completed an online hemovigilance training module. Those who had already completed the training or who would not be transfusing blood during their training program were exempt. In total, 791 of 1239 residents at the facility completed the training.

Results indicated that the intervention was associated with an immediate-level change of −1.96 transfusions per 1000 patient-days (95% CI) without statistically significant preintervention or postintervention temporal trends. According to investigators, this change happened early, was detectable after accounting for overall temporal trends (assuming they were linear) and was large enough to be observed at the institutional level.

The authors noted some limitations of the study, specifically the absence of contemporaneous control and the inability to assess patient outcomes. However, they believe that standardized hemovigilance training could be a low-cost, low-barrier intervention to improve transfusion appropriateness and support the initiation of a multicenter randomized controlled trial.