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PERTH, Australia, October 25, 2017

Dr Simon Towler, Clinical Lead for South Metropolitan Health Service and a staff specialist in Intensive Care at Fiona Stanley Hospital, Perth, Australia, has been invited to present the results of the Western Australia Patient Blood Management Program at the HAA 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting to be held on 29th October to 1st November in Sydney, Australia. The HAA is the combined meeting of the Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand, the Australian & New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion, and the Thrombosis and Haemostasis Society of Australia and New Zealand.

The Western Australia Patient Blood Management Program has attracted international attention and is widely recognised as an excellent example of what can be accomplished on a state level to improve patient care, delivering substantial benefits for both patients and the community.

Dr Towler, who was the Chief Medical Officer at the time the program was implemented, will be speaking during the Choosing Wisely symposium. Choosing Wisely is an international initiative with the goal of improving the quality of patient care by eliminating overused and sometimes harmful medical procedures. Blood transfusion has been identified by medical societies and health care quality organizations as one of the top five overused procedures and is associated with negative patient outcomes and increased costs. Anaemia, also common in patients admitted to hospital, is associated with negative health outcomes and increases the risk of receiving a transfusion.

Dr Towler said “The presentation will highlight that, despite being implemented in a state with one of the lowest red blood cell transfusion rates in the world, blood use in Western Australia decreased by 41%. The number of elective surgery patients who were admitted anaemic also decreased significantly.” He added “The program was associated with significantly reduced in-hospital deaths and hospital-acquired complications, and millions of dollars in cost savings.”

Co-designer and co-implementer of the Program, Shannon Farmer, an IFPBM scientific associate, added: “Patient Blood Management has become the new standard of care, and other countries are looking to the Western Australia Patient Blood Management Program as a model to follow.”

 

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