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J Surg Res. 2014 Mar;187(1):343-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2013.10.005. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

Impact of a blood conservation program on 30-day morbidity and mortality: a cohort study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska.
  • 2Department of Cardiology, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska.
  • 3Department of Surgery, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska. Electronic address: rarmourforse@creighton.edu.



There are little published data on outcomes of blood conservation (BC) patients after noncardiac surgery. The objective of this study was to compare the surgical outcomes of patients enrolled in our BC program with that of the general population of surgical patients.


BC patients at our institution undergoing various surgical procedures were identified from the 2007-2009 National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database and compared with a cohort of conventional care (CC) patients matched by age, gender, and surgical procedure. Univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate 30-d postoperative outcomes.


One hundred twenty BC patients were compared with 238 CC patients. The two groups were similar for all preoperative variables except smoking, which was lower in the BC group. On univariate analysis, BC patients had similar mean operating time (148 versus 155 min; P = 0.5), length of stay (5.9 versus 5.5 d; P = 0.7), and rate of return to the operating room (7.5% versus 5.5%; P = 0.4) compared with CC patients. BC and CC patients had similar 30-d morbidity (18% versus 14%; P = 0.3) and mortality rates (1.6% versus 1.3%; P = 1.0), respectively. On multivariable analysis, enrollment in the BC program had no impact on postoperative 30-d morbidity (odds ratio, 1.78; 95% confidence interval, 0.71-4.47) or 30-d mortality (unadjusted odds ratio, 1.33; 95% confidence interval, 0.22-8.05).


Short-term postoperative outcomes in BC patients are similar to the general population, and these patients should not be denied surgical treatment based on their unwillingness to receive blood products.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Blood conservation; NSQIP; Surgical outcomes

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