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  1. Lythgoe, Jeanne DNR, APRN, FNP-C, CCRN-CMC, CSC


Perioperative and postoperative blood transfusions in cardiac surgery patients are associated with as much as a 16% increased risk of mortality and a significantly increased risk in morbid outcomes. At the project site, red blood cell transfusions in cardiac surgery patients undergoing isolated coronary artery bypass graft were above national benchmarks. The aim of the project was to reduce blood transfusions in cardiac surgery patients by 10% over 8 weeks. Primary interventions included engagement for the team and use of a shared decision-making tool for patients. Use of the Any RBC Transfusion online risk calculator was implemented with initiation of anemia protocol orders, chart identification, and blood conservation coordinator referral. There was no decrease in the blood transfusion rate during project implementation. However, this project heightened blood conservation awareness among team members and clinical leaders, brought attention to the need for evidence-based practice, and stimulated conversation about change.