Patient Blood Management

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2016/02 Humanitarian Award for Frankfurt physicians

Patient Safety Movement Foundation awarded Prof. Kai Zacharowski besides US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for his important contribution to reducing preventable patient deaths. The Patient Safety Movement Foundation set the goal tomassively reduce the number of preventable deaths of hospital patients worldwide by 2020. Therefore, the best ideas and initiatives are awarded during the World Patient Safety, Science and Technology Summit with the Humanitarian Award annually. One of the four winners for the year 2015 is Prof. Kai Zacharowski, Director of the Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Pain Therapy at the University Hospital Frankfurt. He received the award at this year's Congress for his research of a new system of blood management in late January in California. With this concept the scarce resource blood is used as sparingly as possible, while simultaneously increasing patient safety. Next to Frankfurt physicians, US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were honoured for their commitment to the establishment of a comprehensive health insurance network. Further winners are Senator Barbara Boxer and patient activist Alicia Cole.


"I am very happy that our Research and our contribution have been recognized to this debate from the Patient Safety Movement Foundation in this particular form" says Prof. Zacharowski.


His chief physician, Prof. Patrick Meybohm, added: "We got the possibility to exposure our results here in the US,which may allow a paradigm shift in the perception of anaemia and its treatment".

The Congress was attended by 250 international experts in medicine and politics, including former US President Bill Clinton. The study group from Germany travelled with representatives from 4 university hospitals (Frankfurt, Bonn, Kiel and Muenster). The group recently completed its study on Patient Blood Management with 129,000 patients.
Left to right: PD Dr. Renner (Kiel), Prof. Meybohm (Frankfurt), Prof.Zacharowski (Frankfurt), PD. Dr. Gruenewald (Kiel), Dr. Wittmann (Bonn) andProf. Baumgarten (Bonn). Prof. Van Aken (Muenster) is missing in the picture.

New concept with great potential


Joe Kiani, founder of the association, emphasized atthis year's ceremony the importance of the winner's work for the reduction of avoidable death in the hospital. Prof. Zacharowski presented his ideas and research results to the Congress' participants - for which he was awarded. If prior to surgery a patient possesses anaemia the risk for complications during the operation and aftercare is increased. Anaemia is characterized especially by a decreased concentration of haemoglobin in the blood. Haemoglobin carries oxygen and is the main component of red blood cells. The previous solution in such cases was the administration of allogenic blood. However, after transfusion patients may experience additional health complications such as kidney damage.

The blood management system, developed by Prof.Zacharowski and his team, has the potential to prevent harm to patients incount less cases. The model involves three steps. Identify patients with increased risk of anaemia. Haemoglobin values of these patients will be increased before surgery. Thus, the probability is minimized to reach a threshold at which a blood transfusion would be necessary. With this ground breaking approach, up to 20 percent of blood transfusions, risk of acute kidney damage and costs can be reduced -without endangering the patient's health due to possible anaemia.



On 27th of March 2015, the first German Patient Blood Management Symposium was held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the German Patient Blood Management network in Frankfurt. The event, organized by the Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Pain Management and the Institute of Transfusion Medicine and Immunohematology, Red Cross Blood Donor Service Baden Württemberg-Hessen was attended by 350 participants.
Professor Zacharowski during the welcome speech
The auditorium: We werevery pleased about the large attendance.
National and international experts explained to the interested public, how a PBM approach can be implemented in their clinics. Each presentation was accompanied by stimulating discussions and exchange of experiences.
Professor Gombotz, Vienna
Dr. Alwyn Kotzé, West Yorkshire
Amelie Wolfgart, Prof. Marisa Marques, Birmingham, Dr. Dania Fischer

At the same time the Red Cross Blood Donor Service Baden-Württemberg-Hessen undertook at the University Hospital Frankfurt a blood donation service that was adopted by numerous participants. During the symposium, a competition was held, where everyone with an innovative idea was allowed to attend the PBM. We received many interesting contributions and suggestions and the decision on the allocation of places was not easy.

The top three contestants were awarded by Dr. Lohfert from LOHFERT FOUNDATION.
First prize went to Ms. Mona King-Jung, who had many interesting ideas
for the presentation and dissemination of PBM, and an extended
system for tracking of banked blood!
The Frankfurt PBM Team thanks you for the high level of participation and enriching contributions and feedback.