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Anesth Analg. 1995 Feb;80(2):336-42.

Packed red cells in acute blood loss: dilutional coagulopathy as a cause of surgical bleeding.

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Department of Anesthesia, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, 52242.


The purpose of this study was: 1) to define coagulation abnormalities in patients who receive red cell concentrates rather than whole blood for large volume blood loss (greater than 0.5 blood volume); and 2) to determine when coagulation abnormalities lead to increased bleeding in the massively transfused surgical patient. We studied 32 ASA physical status I or II patients (mean age 15.6 +/- 2.3 yr) who lost more than 50% of their blood volume during elective posterior spinal stabilization. Crystalloid solutions and packed red cell concentrates were used to replace blood and fluid losses. Invasive hemodynamic measures, urinary output, and serial hematocrit determinations were used to help maintain a constant intravascular volume and confirm the estimates of blood loss. The quality of hemostasis was assessed during operation. In 15 of the 32 patients, surgical hemostasis remained effective throughout posterior spinal fusion. A coagulation profile (prothrombin time [PT] and activated partial thromboplastin time [aPTT], platelet count, and fibrinogen) was measured at the conclusion of operation in these patients. In 17 patients, increased surgical bleeding as a result of decreased clot formation and increased bleeding from the wound was present. In these 17 patients at the time increased bleeding was diagnosed, hemostatic tests (PT, aPTT, fibrinogen, platelet count, and coagulation factor assays V, VIII, and IX) were obtained.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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