Patient Blood Management in Major Orthopedic Surgery: Less Erythropoietin and More Iron?

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Abstract

Erythropoietin (EPO) is proposed preoperatively to reduce blood transfusion in anemic patients (hemoglobin < 13 g/dL) scheduled for a major orthopedic surgery. New intravenous iron formulations allow infusion of higher doses, increasing EPO response. In that context, we evaluated in a before-after study (n = 62 and 65 patients for each period) a new EPO administration protocol (2 injections 4 and 3 weeks before surgery, and a third if hemoglobin <13 g/dL instead of <15 g/dL 2 weeks before surgery). After this protocol implementation, the mean (standard deviation) number of EPO injections decreased from 2.8 (0.5) to 2.2 (0.4)/patient (P < .0001) without changing transfusion rates (3% in the 2 periods).

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