Anemia and transfusion strategies in the aged

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)


Anemia is highly prevalent in the elderly, especially in oldest old patients that are often frail and institutionalized. Senescence puts older persons at risk of developing anemia, but anemia may not be attributed to senescence unless a thorough diagnostic workup has excluded other etiologies. Nutrient deficiencies require complete workup and cure. Inflammatory diseases and renal failure are the most frequent etiology in older patients and difficult to cure. Myelodysplastic syndromes may be difficult to diagnose and will be subject to specific treatment in a minority of cases. But anemia is associated with poor outcome and symptomatic treatments such as transfusions are frequently considered. Red blood cell transfusion has a high therapeutic index and efficacy has not been proven unless anemia is symptomatic or particularly severe. As a consequence its indications have been restricted in recent years. Nevertheless, evidence is restricted to younger adults and specific clinical situations. Geriatricians thus have to deal with a large number of patients with significant anemia and the absence of well constructed guidelines for the frail and very old patients they have to take care of.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerioperative Care for the Geriatric Patient
EditorsG. Silvay, K. Cvachovec
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2009
EventUnknown -
Duration: 15 Jun 2009 → …


Period15/06/09 → …

Bibliographical note

G. Silvay , K. Cvachovec


  • anemia
  • diagnosis
  • treatment
  • transfusion


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