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J Arthroplasty. 2014 Nov;29(11):2084-6. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2014.06.029. Epub 2014 Jul 8.

Utility of noninvasive transcutaneous measurement of postoperative hemoglobin in total joint arthroplasty patients.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.


This study prospectively evaluated the clinical utility of a noninvasive transcutaneous device for postoperative hemoglobin measurement in 100 total hip and knee arthroplasty patients. A protocol to measure hemoglobin noninvasively, prior to venipuncture, successfully avoided venipuncture in 73% of patients. In the remaining 27 patients, there were a total of 48 venipunctures performed during the postoperative hospitalization period due to reasons including transcutaneous hemoglobin measurement less than or equal to 9 g/dL (19), inability to obtain a transcutaneous hemoglobin measurement (8), clinical signs of anemia (3), and noncompliance with the study protocol (18). Such screening protocols may provide a convenient and cost-effective alternative to routine venipuncture for identifying patients at risk for blood transfusion after elective joint arthroplasty.


anemia; cost-effective; postoperative venipuncture; total joint arthroplasty; transcutaneous hemoglobin measurement

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