The comparison of the effects of intraoperative bleeding control and postoperative drain clamping methods on the postoperative blood loss and the need for transfusion following total knee arthroplasty

Yusuf Aksoy, Levent Altinel, Kamil Çağri Köse
Acta Orthopaedica et Traumatologica Turcica 2011, 45 (3): 190-4

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to determine and compare the effects of intraoperative bleeding control and two hours postoperative drain clamping method on postoperative wound drainage and the need for donor blood transfusion following total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

METHODS: Seventy-one patients who underwent TKA were randomly assigned into two groups. Fourty-four knees of 32 patients comprised Group A and 51 knees of 39 patients comprised Group B. In Group A, no bleeding control was done and postoperatively, the drain was clamped for 2 hours. Then it was unclamped to begin aspiration after the 2nd hour. In Group B, the bleeding was controlled intraoperatively, and the drain was not clamped after the surgery. Drains were removed 48 hours after the surgery in both groups. Bilateral and unilateral arthroplasty patients were evaluated separately. The groups were compared for their preoperative and postoperative 3-day haemoglobin (Hb) levels, total drainage amount and total number of blood transfusions.

RESULTS: The haemoglobin levels were similar in both groups preoperatively and at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd postoperative days. In Group A, the wound drainage was 696.1±235.4 ml in unilateral TKA patients and was 1010.8±535.5 ml in bilateral arthroplasty patients. In Group B, the wound drainage was 710.1±380.1 ml in unilateral TKA patients and was 878.3±489.6 ml in bilateral arthroplasty patients. The mean number of transfusions was 1.41 units with no significant differences between the groups.

CONCLUSION: The two hour drain clamping method without intraoperative bleeding control does not seem to affect the amount of blood loss and the need for transfusion when compared to intraoperative bleeding control in total knee arthroplasty patients. Hovewer, it is a simple and feasible method and can be used to decrease the operation time.

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