The reduction of preoperative autologous blood donation for primary total hip or knee arthroplasty: the effect on subsequent transfusion rates

Claude Couvret, Stéphanie Tricoche, Annick Baud, Brigitte Dabo, Sylvie Buchet, Michel Palud, Jacques Fusciardi
Anesthesia and Analgesia 2002, 94 (4): 815-23, table of contents

UNLABELLED: We conducted this quality assurance observational study to examine the effects of a change in policy regarding preoperative autologous blood donation (PABD) and indications for perioperative blood transfusion in patients undergoing primary total hip or knee arthroplasty. Two successive time periods, each including 182 successive patients treated by the same medical team and with standardized anesthesia, were compared. The first study had the following standard transfusion policy: 3 U of PABD collected (n = 119) and liberal autologous transfusion (AT). The second study introduced a specific indication for PABD, on the basis of estimated red blood cell reserve and a life expectancy of more than 10 years; 2 U of PABD was collected (n = 81), and criteria were identical for AT and allogeneic transfusion. We mainly compared the incidence of AT; allogeneic and overall transfusions; the inclusion, admission, and discharge hematocrit values; and the wastage of PABD units. This novel policy increased the number of untransfused patients by a factor of 10 (5.5% vs 56.6%) (P < 0.0001), decreased the number of PABD patients by 30% with a 2.4-fold reduction in AT (30% vs 80%) (P < 0.0001), and did not change allogeneic requirements (13% vs 15%). Although fewer autologous units were collected (172 vs 426), the wastage was higher in Study 2 (46% vs 12%) (P < 0.0001). We conclude that incorporation of patients' individual factors improves the efficiency of transfusion for total hip and total knee arthroplasty surgeries.

IMPLICATIONS: We compared two transfusion policies for primary total hip or knee arthroplasties: first, a standard preoperative autologous donation with a liberal autologous transfusion policy; and second, a more restrictive indication for autologous donation that was based on patients' individual factors, with identical criteria for autologous and allogeneic transfusion. We found that this change of policy reduced autologous donation and transfusion with no increase in allogeneic transfusion.

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