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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2006 Jan;88(1):49-53.

A prospective comparison of clamping the drain or post-operative salvage of blood in reducing blood loss after total knee arthroplasty.

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Hyogo Rehabilitation Center, 1070 Akebono-cho Nishi-ku, Kobe 651-2181, Japan.


We undertook a prospective, randomised study in order to evaluate the efficacy of clamping the drains after intra-articular injection of saline with 1:500 000 adrenaline compared with post-operative blood salvage in reducing blood loss in 212 total knee arthroplasties. The mean post-operative drained blood volume after drain clamping was 352.1 ml compared to 662.3 ml after blood salvage (p < 0.0001). Allogenic blood transfusion was needed in one patient in the drain group and for three in the blood salvage group. Drain clamping with intra-articular injection of saline with adrenaline is more effective than post-operative autologous blood transfusion in reducing blood loss during total knee arthroplasty.

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