Intraoperative transfusion practices in Europe

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Meier J., Filipescu D., Kozek-Langenecker S., Llau Pitarch J. V., Mallett S., Martus P., ...More

British Journal of Anaesthesia, vol.116, no.2, pp.255, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 116 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1093/bja/aev456
  • Journal Name: British Journal of Anaesthesia
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.255
  • Keywords: anaemia, anesthesia, blood transfusion, surgery, transfusion trigger, PATIENT BLOOD MANAGEMENT, PREOPERATIVE ANEMIA, ELECTIVE SURGERY, REQUIREMENTS
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


© 2016 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Journal of Anaesthesia.Background: Transfusion of allogeneic blood influences outcome after surgery. Despite widespread availability of transfusion guidelines, transfusion practices might vary among physicians, departments, hospitals and countries. Our aim was to determine the amount of packed red blood cells (pRBC) and blood products transfused intraoperatively, and to describe factors determining transfusion throughout Europe. Methods: We did a prospective observational cohort study enrolling 5803 patients in 126 European centres that received at least one pRBC unit intraoperatively, during a continuous three month period in 2013. Results: The overall intraoperative transfusion rate was 1.8%; 59% of transfusions were at least partially initiated as a result of a physiological transfusion trigger- mostly because of hypotension (55.4%) and/or tachycardia (30.7%). Haemoglobin (Hb)- based transfusion trigger alone initiated only 8.5% of transfusions. The Hb concentration [mean (sd)] just before transfusion was 8.1 (1.7) g dl-1 and increased to 9.8 (1.8) g dl-1 after transfusion. The mean number of intraoperatively transfused pRBC units was 2.5 (2.7) units (median 2). Conclusions: Although European Society of Anaesthesiology transfusion guidelines are moderately implemented in Europe with respect to Hb threshold for transfusion (7-9 g dl-1), there is still an urgent need for further educational efforts that focus on the number of pRBC units to be transfused at this threshold.