The discharge hematocrit has been analyzed as a clinical indicator of the transfusion trigger by which to identify patients undergoing elective orthopedic surgery who were transfused with blood in excess of need. The volume of red cells lost by each patient during surgical hospitalization was compared to the volume of red cells transfused. Three clinical indicator levels were considered. Red cell losses of 10, 20, and 30 percent of each patient's baseline red cell volume at admission were considered to be appropriate before subsequent blood transfusion replacement, representing generous, intermediate, or strict clinical indicator levels, respectively. With Level I as a generous clinical indicator, 110 (25%) of 525 patients were transfused in excess of blood needs; by Level II (intermediate) and Level III (strict) criteria, 221 (42%) and 314 (60%) of 525 patients, respectively, were transfused in excess of blood needs. Significant differences were found for transfused patients analyzed by gender (26% of women vs. 13% of men; Level I, p less than 0.001) and preoperative autologous blood donation (25% of autologous blood donors vs. 11% of those who did not donate autologous blood; Level I, p less than 0.001). It can be concluded that the discharge hematocrit and amount of blood lost during hospitalization can be used as clinical indicators with which to identify patients receiving transfusions in excess of needs in the elective surgical setting. With this method, it was found that the transfusion trigger is different for women and for men as well as for autologous blood donors and those who did not donate autologous blood undergoing elective orthopedic surgery [corrected].
View details for Web of Science ID A1992JM76100011
View details for PubMedID 1519327