Comparison of stored red blood cell washing techniques for priming extracorporeal circuits

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Abstract

Background:

The aim of this study was to compare three different blood washing techniques and describe the differences for the composition of the washed red blood cells (RBC).

Methods:

Stored RBCs less than 5 days old were washed using three different techniques. 1) Washing with normal saline with the COBE Model 2991 blood processor in the blood bank (BB-S). 2) Washing with normal saline with the Continuous AutoTransfusion System (C.A.T.S) in the operating room (OR-S). 3) Washing with Plasma-Lyte with the C.A.T.S in the operating room (OR-PL). Then, we compared the values for hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (Hct), blood volume, RBC volume, lactate, glucose, sodium and potassium of the three different groups.

Results:

Forty-five units of RBCs were washed and analyzed (15 for each technique). The OR-S RBCs, when compared to the BB-S RBCs, had lower hemoglobin (g/dL) (22.8 vs 24.1, p=0.006), lower hematocrit (%) (67 vs 71, p=0.006), higher RBC volume (ml) (161 vs 130, p<0.001), higher glucose (mg/dL) (185 vs 46, p<0.001) and lower sodium (mmol/L) (153 vs 158, p<0.001). When compared to the OR-S RBCs, the OR-PL RBCs showed higher potassium (mmol/L) (5.3 vs 2, p<0.001) and lower sodium (mmol/L) (129 vs 153, p<0.001).

Conclusion:

RBCs washed with an autotransfusion device had a higher RBC volume and more physiological levels of glucose and sodium when compared with the blood processor in the blood bank. It can be an alternative option to use RBCs washed with an autotransfusion device for priming the extracorporeal circuits utilized in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.

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