Dalrymple-Hay, Malcolm J.R., Dawkins, Sam, Pack, Louise, Deakin, Charles D., Sheppard, Stuart, Ohri, Sunil K., Haw, Marcus P., Livesey, Steven A. and Monro, James L.
Autotransfusion decreases blood usage following cardiac surgery - a prospective randomized trial.
Cardiovascular Surgery, 9, (2), . (doi:10.1016/S0967-2109(00)00100-9).
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Introduction: 10% of blood issued by the National Blood Service (220 000) is utilised in cardiac procedures. Transfusion reactions, infection risk and cost should stimulate us to decrease this transfusion rate. We tested the efficacy of autotransfusion of washed postoperative mediastinal fluid in a prospective randomized trial.
Patients and methods: 166 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), valve or CABG+valve procedures were randomized into three groups. The indication for transfusion was a postoperative haemoglobin (Hb) <10g/l or a packed cell volume (PCV) <30. When applicable, group A patients received washed post-operative drainage fluid. Group B all received blood processed from the cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) circuit following separation from CPB and if appropriate washed post-operative drainage fluid. Group C were controls. Groups were compared using analysis of variance.
Results: There was no significant difference in age, sex, type of operation, CPB time and preoperative Hb and PCV between the groups. Blood requirements were as shown.
[see table 3 in main text]
Twelve patients in group A and 10 in group B did not require a homologous transfusion following processing of the mediastinal drainage fluid.
Conclusion: Autotransfusion of washed postoperative mediastinal fluid can decrease the amount of homologous blood transfused following cardiac surgery. There was no demonstrable benefit in processing blood from the CPB circuit as well as mediastinal drainage fluid.
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