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A low haematocrit during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is associated with adverse outcomes and often results in homologous blood transfusions. Oxygenators with improved venous reservoir designs aid in reducing the priming volume. Recently, we changed our small adult oxygenator model from the D905 EOS oxygenator (Dideco, Mirandola, Italy) to the Capiox FX1540 (Terumo Corporation, Tokyo, Japan). We conducted a retrospective study of 42 patents to evaluate the impact of the Capiox FX 1540 on blood transfusion requirements in small patients (body surface area (BSA) up to 1.8 m2). The D905 EOS group had a lower minimum intraoperative haematocrit than the FX1540 group (20 ± 3 v 22 ± 4, p = 0.029) with 73% of the patients receiving intraoperative blood transfusions compared with 30% in the FX 1540 group (p = 0.012). Patients in the D905 EOS group received one blood transfusion more during CPB than the FX 1540 patients (p = 0.002). The haematocrits at the end of CPB and in the early postoperative period were identical in both groups. The postoperative ventilation time, length of stay in the intensive care unit and postoperative chest drain bleeding were similar in both groups. In conclusion, the Capiox FX1540 was effective in reducing intraoperative packed red cell transfusions.