Impact of a blood management protocol on transfusion rates and outcomes following total hip and knee arthroplasty

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Preoperative anaemia remains undertreated in the UK despite advice from national agencies to implement blood conservation measures. A local retrospective audit of 717 primary hip/knee replacements in 2008-2009 revealed 25% of patients were anaemic preoperatively. These patients experienced significantly increased transfusion requirements and length of stay. We report the results of a simple and pragmatic blood management protocol in a district general hospital.

METHODS

Since 2010 patients at our institution who are found to be anaemic when listed for hip/knee replacement have been offered iron supplementation and/or erythropoietin depending on haemoglobin and ferritin levels. In this study, postoperative blood transfusions, length of stay and readmissions were assessed retrospectively for all patients undergoing elective primary hip/knee replacement in 2014 and compared with the baseline findings.

RESULTS

During the 12-month study period, 406 patients were eligible for inclusion and none were excluded. Eighty-nine patients (22%) were anaemic preoperatively and sixty-five received treatment. The transfusion rate fell from the baseline levels of 23.0% and 6.7% to 4.3% and 0.5% for hip and knee replacements respectively (p<0.001). The median length of stay reduced from 6 to 3 days (p<0.001) for both hip and knee replacements. The rate for readmissions within 90 days fell from 13.5% to 8.9% (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Preoperative anaemia is common in patients listed for hip/knee replacement and it is associated strongly with increased blood transfusion. The introduction of a blood management protocol has led to significant reductions in transfusion and length of stay, sustained over a four-year period. This suggests that improved patient outcomes, conservation of blood stocks and cost savings can be achieved.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles