Preprint / Version 4

Patient Blood Management (PBM): A path to bloodless medicine




blood transfusion, bloodless medical and surgical procedures, blood preservation, anemia


Introduction: Blood transfusion is traditional and popular, considered beneficial in reducing mortality. Evidence-based medicine (EBM) seeks medical decisions based on scientific evidence. Method: This study evaluated blood transfusion from the perspective of EBM through a narrative review. Results: Review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) showed that restrictive transfusion reduces mortality compared to less restrictive transfusion. No randomized placebo-controlled trials evaluating the efficacy of blood transfusion were found, creating uncertainty about the effect of blood transfusion, both in the restrictive and liberal modalities, on mortality. Systematic review of the quality of blood transfusion guidelines demonstrated that the guidelines were developed with low methodological rigor. Reviews of observational studies have linked transfusion to increased mortality, with Bradford Hill criteria suggesting a causal relationship. Systematic literature review demonstrates that Patient Blood Management (PBM) promotes reduced mortality and improved clinical outcomes. Although PBM provides an approach to reducing the use of stored blood, it does not challenge the basic assumption that blood transfusion is necessary or beneficial at some point. Conclusion: Following the important bioethic principle guiding the medical profession, "Primum non nocere" (First, do no harm), it is necessary to urgently reevaluate the inclusion of blood transfusion in the medical arsenal, a therapy that presents dubious benefit but proven harms. Until this reevaluation is fully undertaken by the medical community, patients must be fully and adequately informed about all these facts from now on, so that they can fully exercise their autonomy.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Juan Carlos Montano-Pedroso, Universidade Federal de São Paulo

PhD, Prof. Advisor of the Professional Master's Course in Science, Technology and Management Applied to Tissue Regeneration at Unifesp. Prof. Co-supervisor of the Graduate Program in Translational Surgery at Unifesp and the Discipline of Plastic Surgery at Unifesp.


08/09/2023 — Updated on 08/16/2023


How to Cite

Montano-Pedroso, J. C. (2023). Patient Blood Management (PBM): A path to bloodless medicine. In SciELO Preprints. (Original work published 2023)


Health Sciences


Version justification

Adicionado parágrafo sobre o efeito clínico das transfusões de sangue e o fato delas aumentarem os níveis de hemoglobina.

Data statement

  • The research data is contained in the manuscript