Blood Transfusion Practices in Patients Undergoing Total Joint Replacement: A Research Study

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Many studies show it is not necessary to transfuse according to a single hemoglobin level, but rather it is necessary to assess the combination of signs, symptoms, and laboratory measures.

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of red blood cell (RBC) transfusions in patients who underwent total hip or knee replacement.

METHODS:

The study comprised 2 retrospective medical record reviews: Phase 1 included data prior to the RBC transfusion order set and elimination of autologous blood. Phase 2 included postimplementation data.

RESULTS:

There were a decreased number of patients receiving blood transfusions after implementing the RBC transfusion order set and a decreased hemoglobin trigger value. The strongest predictor of receiving a blood transfusion was autologous blood donation.

CONCLUSION:

Use of the order set will decrease unnecessary transfusions hospital-wide.

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