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A Review of Transfusion Therapy: Clinical Principles and Practice, 3rd edition

Paul D Mintz: Transfusion Therapy: Clinical Principles and Practice. 3rd edition. American Association of Blood Banks, 2010, 931pp., ISBN 978-1563953071

The third edition of Transfusion Therapy: Clinical Principles and Practice picks up where previous editions have left off . It also continues in the book's tradition as an easily readable and facile reference for the critical care provider who needs to use blood component therapy in the care of their patients. This work, edited by Paul D Mintz, a pathologist-expert in blood banking from The University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Virginia, USA), provides clear, evidence-based reference material regarding this rapidly evolving topic of investigation. Neither a pocket clinical handbook nor a dense basic textbook, the third edition serves as a true clinical reference designed to guide the practicing clinician who needs the most up-to-date information in transfusion therapy.

Transfusion Therapy is organized into five main sections, each with an appropriate level of detail in the individual component chapters. The main structural sections include: the use of blood components in clinical practice; blood components and derivatives; preventing and managing adverse events; quality in transfusion practice; and a summation. Within each section, several chapters deserve particular merit as a critical read and update for active providers. In the clinical practice section, for example, the chapters on bedside procedures, therapy in surgery, massive transfusion/trauma and therapy in critical care, all provide a comprehensive look at many of the recent updates and shifts in transfusion strategies in the critically ill patient.

The editor of the third edition should be particularly proud of the chapter on massive transfusion in trauma patients. Written by some of the leading experts in the field of transfusion medicine in trauma, this chapter provides a comprehensive look at the development of the idea of 'massive transfusion protocols'. Additionally, the chapter eloquently discusses how recent military surgical experiences have been brought into civilian centers at a more laudable pace than many, previous developments.

Component chapters on platelets and the management of the allo-immunized patient are also particularly strong. The section on preventing and managing adverse events, as well the section covering quality in transfusion practice, each at just under 100 pages, should be mandatory reading material for any trainee or practitioner who has ever written an order for a blood component product. Finally, the last chapter in this third edition, under the heading of Summation, should not be ignored. Entitled, 'To Transfuse or Not to Transfuse', it is an outstanding review of the present knowledge of the risks and benefits of transfusion. If there was to be a single chapter to read, this would be it.

Overall, the third edition of Transfusion Therapy is an excellent clinical resource for the practicing clinician. Easily readable, well-referenced, and organized to be functional, all practitioners of critical care, regardless of primary specialty, should add this to their armamentarium of references.

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Correspondence to Alexander L Eastman.

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Eastman, A.L., Pepe, P.E. A Review of Transfusion Therapy: Clinical Principles and Practice, 3rd edition. Crit Care 16, 315 (2012).

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