Anemia is now recognized as a risk factor for a number of adverse outcomes in the elderly, including hospitalization, morbidity, and mortality. What constitutes appropriate evaluation and management for an elderly patient with anemia, and when to initiate a referral to a hematologist, are significant issues. Attempts to identify suggested hemoglobin levels for blood transfusion therapy have been confounded for elderly patients with their co-morbidities. Since no specific recommended hemoglobin threshold has stood the test of time, prudent transfusion practices to maintain hemoglobin thresholds of 9-10 g/dL in the elderly are indicated, unless or until evidence emerges to indicate otherwise.
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