Decreasing the blood transfusion rate in elective hip replacement surgery using an autologous drainage system

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This is a prospective study looking at the effectiveness of autologous postoperative drains in primary uncemented total hip replacement (THR) surgery


A total of 86 patients were studied, with 43 using standard suction drains (normal drain group) and 43 using autologous drains (autologous drain group).


Thirty-seven units of homologous blood were transfused in the normal drain group and 5 units in the autologous drain group. The mean number of units of homologous blood transfused per patient was reduced from 0.86 to 0.12 (P (P < 0.01) with the use of autologous drains and the transfusion rate was reduced from 23% to 6% (P < 0.02). The mean length of hospital stay was also reduced by two nights (P < 0.05). There were no adverse effects from using the autologous system and it does reduce the need for a homologous blood transfusion.


The system is simple and easy to use and we have also found it to be cost effective. Previously, it has not been reported as being effective in hip arthroplasty surgery, unlike knee arthroplasty surgery. We would recommend using autologous postoperative drains in primary THR surgery

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