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Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 1995 Dec;24(12):906-9.

A comparison of blood loss and transfusion requirements in total knee arthroplasty with and without arterial tourniquet.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Beth Israel North Hospital, New York, New York, USA.


A retrospective study was undertaken to determine the intraoperative blood loss and the subsequent need for blood transfusion in primary total knee arthroplasty. Fifty-six patients were operated on with the use of an arterial tourniquet (group 1), and 50 patients, without the use of a tourniquet (group 2). The mean intraoperative blood loss was significantly different between the two groups (P = 0.001). The 1-hour postoperative hemoglobin decrease was also significantly different between the two groups (P = 0.006). Thirty-four patients (61%) in group 1, and 32 patients in group 2 (64%) required a blood transfusion prior to discharge from the hospital. This difference was not significantly different. Although intraoperative blood loss was increased in the group when no tourniquet was used, the overall incidence of transfusion was the same between the two groups. It may therefore be justified to question the routine use of a tourniquet during total knee arthroplasty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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