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Br J Anaesth. 2001 Apr;86(4):575-8.

Reduced haemostatic factor transfusion using heparinase-modified thrombelastography during cardiopulmonary bypass.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, Harefield Hospital, Harefield, UK.


We set out to determine if the heparinase-modified thrombelastogram using anticoagulated blood from patients during cardiac surgery could guide treatment with haemostatic components. In 60 patients a simple algorithm predicted a possible 60-80% decrease in the use of haemostatic components. In a second series, 30 patients were allocated to receive components using this intra-operative algorithm and 30 using clinical criteria and laboratory-based tests. Ten patients in the clinical group received a total of 16 units of fresh frozen plasma and nine platelet concentrates compared with five patients transfused with five units of fresh frozen plasma and one platelet concentrate in the algorithm group. Twelve-hour chest tube losses [algorithm group 470 (295-820) ml, clinically managed group 390 (240-820) ml (median, quartile values)] were not different between groups despite the threefold reduction in the use of haemostatic products, showing that intra-operative monitoring of coagulation in the anticoagulated patient can be used to guide treatment.

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