ICC PBM clinical recommendations

28 Mar 2019

Brussels – 22 March 2019: the European Blood Alliance (EBA) together with a consortium1 held on 24 and 25 April 2018 the first International Consensus Conference on Patient Blood Management (ICC PBM) in Frankfurt, Germany. The conclusions and recommendations from the conference have just been published in JAMA: JAMA. 2019;321(10):983-997. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.0554.

Patient Blood Management (PBM) aims to optimise the care of patients who might need a blood transfusion. Noting that evidence on transfusion thresholds is missing and there is a variety of guidelines on the subject matter, an international consortium led by EBA took the initiative for this conference. A total of 18.000 publications were screened and 142 studies were included based on 17 questions constructed by experts. Results were critically evaluated at the expert conference and discussed for different patient groups. 

 Expert panels drafted recommendations, whenever evidence was available. Unanimously participants stressed the different level of studies suitable for evidence based analysis. The outcomes of the systematic reviews were presented to a panel and an audience of 200, consolidating the available knowledge on Red Blood Cell Transfusion Thresholds, Pre-Operative Anaemia and Implementation of PBM.

Major clinical recommendations included:

  • the need to detect, characterise and manage (including the evidence for and against using

    erythropoiesis stimulating agents) preoperative anaemia in the context of elective


  • concurrence with strong recommendations from high-quality studies for restrictive red

    blood cell transfusion thresholds;

  • the importance of implementing formal PBM programmes; and

  • the value of electronic decision support systems to optimise RBC transfusion.

“This is a key achievement for EBA and co-sponsors as it succeeds to rally the international community in drafting consensus statements and recommendations, and to publish the findings in a highly-ranked peer-reviewed paper” said Professor Seifried, Blood Transfusion Centre of the German Red Cross, one of the co-authors. The recommendations must now be taken up by transfusion specialists in collaboration with experts from the blood establishments and implemented at hospital level, for the benefit of patients.


* The consortium consisted of: American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Transfusionsmedizin und Immunhämatologie (DGTI), the French Transfusion Society (SFTS), Società Italiana di Medicina Transfusionale e Immunoematologia (SIMTI), with participation of Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS), Canadian Blood Services (CBS), International Collaboration for Transfusion Medicine Guidelines (ICTMG), International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostatis (ISTH), National Blood Authority (NBA), Australia and the Österreichische Gesellschaft für Blutgruppenserologie, Transfusionmedizin Regenerative Medizin und Immungenitik (ÖGBT)



About EBA:

The European Blood Alliance (EBA) an association of not for profit Blood Establishments within the European Union or European Free Trade Association. Its mission is:

  • To contribute to the availability, quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of the blood and tissue supply for the citizens of Europe by developing and maintaining an efficient and strong collaboration amongst European blood, cells and tissue services;
  • To increase public and professional awareness of voluntary and non-remunerated donation of blood and blood components as an indispensable therapeutic means to help patients;
  • To assist European blood establishments to continuously improve their performance, based on scientific and ethical principles for the benefit of patients;
  • To facilitate networking among European blood, cells and tissue services.

The International Consensus Conference on Patient Blood Management (ICC-PBM) is a collaborative scientific activity of the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT), the German Transfusion Society (DGTI), the French Society of Blood Transfusion (SFTS), the Società Italiana di Medicina Trasfusionale e Immunoematologia (SIMTI), the Centre of Evidence-Based Practice (CEBaP) and the European Blood Alliance (EBA). 


Ms. Willemijn Kramer

European Blood Alliance

EBA Communications and Administrations Officer

Plesmanlaan 125 

1066 CX Amsterdam

M. +31 (0)6 207 43758


Ms. Catherine Hartmann

European Blood Alliance

EBA Executive Director

Plesmanlaan 125 | Clos Chapelle-aux-Champs, 30 – bte 1.30.30

1066 CX Amsterdam | B-1200 Brussels, Belgium

M. +31 (0)6 135 99 054



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