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Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2014 Nov;19(5):788-94. doi: 10.1093/icvts/ivu266. Epub 2014 Aug 14.

A structured blood conservation programme reduces transfusions and costs in cardiac surgery.

Author information

1
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
2
Department of Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.
3
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.
4
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden anders.jeppsson@vgregion.se.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Transfusions of blood products can be lifesaving, but they are also associated with considerable risks and adverse effects, including immune response and infections. In cardiac surgery, transfusions have also been associated with increased mortality. We prospectively studied the effects of a structured programme to reduce transfusions and transfusion-associated costs in cardiac surgery.

METHODS:

The programme included: (i) education of all staff about the risks and benefits of blood transfusions; (ii) revised guidelines for transfusions; and (iii) a transfusion log where indication for transfusion, status of the patient and prescribing physician were registered. Transfusion prevalence, complications and costs for blood products were registered for all acute and elective cardiac operations during a 12-month period before (n = 1128) and after (n = 1034) the programme was started. The two time periods were compared. In addition, the prevalence of transfusions was registered for 2 more years after the programme was initiated.

RESULTS:

The first year after the programme was initiated the proportion of patients transfused with red blood cell concentrate decreased by 21.8% (from 58.2 to 45.5%, P <0.001), plasma by 37.4% (from 30.8 to 19.3%, P <0.001) and platelets by 21.0% (from 20.5 to 16.2%, P = 0.010). Reoperations for bleeding (5.8 vs 5.0%), early complication rate and 30-day mortality (2.5 vs 2.6%) were not significantly different before and after the start date. Based on the 2009 institutional prices for red blood cell concentrate (102 €/unit), plasma (35 €/unit) and platelets (290 €/unit), the savings on blood products were €161,623 during the first 12 months after the programme was launched. The proportion of patients transfused with any blood product was 60.9% before the programme was started and 48.3, 54.0 and 50.7% 1-3 years after its start (all P <0.001), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

A structured blood conservation programme reduces transfusions and costs for blood products in cardiac surgery, without any signs of compromised medical safety. The effects of introducing such a programme are maintained over at least 3 years.

KEYWORDS:

Blood conservation; Cardiac surgery; Outcome; Transfusion

PMID:
25125140
DOI:
10.1093/icvts/ivu266
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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