Der Anaesthesist 2017 12 05() doi 10.1007/s00101-017-0388-z
Based on the German Transfusion Law, the periodically updated guidelines "Richtlinien zur Gewinnung von Blut und Blutbestandteilen und zur Anwendung von Blutprodukten" ("Hämotherapierichtlinien") are intended to provide the current knowledge and state of the art of blood transfusion practice in Germany. The novel update 2017 contains relevant changes for blood donation, especially the extension of the exclusion period of persons at risk for sexually transmitted HBV, HCV and HIV diseases to 12 months. Moreover, the guidelines provide several changes relevant to blood transfusion practice in anesthesiology, such as: all autologous hemotherapy procedures including normovolemic hemodilution, cell saver, and autologous blood donation and transfusion require formal registration at the regulatory authority. A special detailed protocol is required for every cell saver use. A formal quality control procedure for cell saver use is necessary at least every 3 months. Retransfusion of unprocessed shed blood is generally not permitted. Guidance is provided for the clinical situation of lacking consent for blood transfusion in emergency situations (under certain circumstances blood transfusion may still be allowed). For the first time, the concept of "patient blood management" is explicitly mentioned and recommended in the guidelines. Especially the novel regulations regarding autologous blood use impose new challenges in clinical practice in anesthesiology.