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Health First Significantly Decreases Number of Blood Transfusions

Part of Ongoing Efforts to Implement Best Practices System Wide

Rockledge, FL (August 8, 2013) – Health First is pleased to announce in an ongoing effort to implement best practices system wide, it has significantly reduced the number of blood transfusions that have been given to patients this year in its four hospitals. Health First underwent a major effort to conduct less blood transfusions so those who truly need it can have access to a larger reserve.

As part of this system wide effort at Health First:

  • Health First implemented guidelines for medical personnel to follow when considering giving a blood transfusion to a patient. In addition, educational materials and training were provided to physicians.
  • As a result, there has been a massive reduction in the number of blood transfusions Health First has conducted this year—as compared with 2012. These efforts have resulted in a major cost and resource savings throughout the entire system.
  • Between February and June of this year compared with the same time frame last year, 2,577 less units of blood have been used at Health First’s four hospitals. This is a 21.7 percent reduction in blood use system wide.
  • In the month of May alone this year, Health First hospitals gave 860 fewer blood transfusions than in May 2012.

“Health First ensures we utilize all of our resources to the fullest extent,” said Health First Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Stuart Mitchell. “Those valuable resources are critical to our patients and our community. All of Health First’s guidelines are evidence-based and best practice when compared to other institutions around the United States.” 

According to the American Red Cross, someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds and 5 million people receive blood every year.

About Health First

Founded in 1995, Health First is Central Florida’s only fully integrated health system and employs more than 7,500 people and has four hospitals (including Holmes Regional Medical Center, Palm Bay Hospital, Cape Canaveral Hospital and Viera Hospital). Health First Health Plans also offers a wide variety of health insurance plan options for Brevard and Indian River Counties. In addition, Health First is home to Brevard County’s only Trauma Center. Health First Medical Group is the largest multi-specialty physician group on the Space Coast. Health First offers numerous outpatient and wellness services, including four Pro-Health and Fitness Centers. Visit www.Health-First.org for more information.