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Transfusion. 1992 May;32(4):318-22.

Blood transfusion and postoperative infection in orthopedic patients.

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Blood Center of Southeastern Wisconsin, Milwaukee.


Adverse effects of the transfusion of homologous blood on tumor recurrence and resistance to bacterial infection have been reported previously, but the findings are inconclusive. A retrospective review of patients undergoing orthopedic surgery was conducted, and the rate of the postoperative infectious complications was compared among those receiving homologous blood, autologous blood, both types, or no transfusion support. An overall postoperative infection rate of 6.1 percent was observed: 6.9 percent among persons receiving homologous blood, 5.0 percent among those receiving autologous blood, 11.9 percent among those receiving both homologous and autologous blood, and 4.9 percent among those not receiving transfusions (p = 0.37). Among patients receiving homologous blood, a subset of 15 patients received homologous whole blood and had an infection rate of 20 percent. Significant predictors of postoperative infection included increasing age, spinal surgery, high admission hematocrit, and greater time in surgery. Of factors relating to transfusion, only the use of homologous whole blood was a significant predictor of postoperative infection, which suggests a detrimental effect of homologous plasma. It can be concluded that, in this group of patients undergoing relatively nontraumatic surgery, several variables that are not related to transfusion, as well as the use of homologous whole blood, were significant predictors of postoperative infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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