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Too much blood?

Has natural selection shaped human physiology so that blood loss anemia is better tolerated than we thought? A recent article in Nature reports that physicians give far too many blood transfusions. This piece gives strong voice to the argument that we often harm when we think we are helping. My colleagues and I have argued that some medical procedures interfere with adaptations that have evolved by natural selection. Evolutionary medicine is a perfect platform to inform the debate over “Less is more.”



From the Nature article:  “There are some patients who will die without transfusions and there are some that will die because of transfusion.”

Read Emily Anthes entire article here: Evidence-based medicine: Save blood, save lives

Just published in the BMJ & supporting Anthes’ argument: Holst et al. BMJ 2015 Restrictive versus liberal transfusion strategy for red blood cell transfusion

Read also: PLOS One Blood Transfusions following Trauma: Finding an Evidence-Based Vein

And my previous blog post: Are IV fluids helpful or harmful in trauma

Related: Is political pressure needed to reduce useless interventions?

Categories: Uncategorized

Joe Alcock

Emergency Physician, Educator, Researcher, interested in the microbiome, evolution, and medicine

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