A retrospective analysis of 221 patients undergoing unilateral total knee arthroplasty between January 2007 and April 2008 was performed to look at rates of total transfusions, allogenic transfusions, and autogenic transfusions. Two senior surgeons performed all the surgeries. During that period, patients in group A (129 patients) all donated one unit of autologous blood and patients in group B (92 patients) did not donate. Within both groups, patients were further divided by preoperative hemoglobin level as either anemic or non-anemic. A hemoglobin of 12.5 g/dL was used as the cutoff. Ninety-eight patients in group A (76%) required autologous blood. Patients in group A received a higher total number of transfusions (0.93 per patient) than those in group B (0.33 per patient; p < 0.001). The rate of allogenic transfusion was lower for group A (14%) than for group B (25%; p < 0.033). The reduction of allogenic transfusions associated with preoperative autologous blood donation was confined to anemic patients (29% in group A vs 72% in group B; p = 0.0006). There was no difference in allogenic blood transfusions in non-anemic patients between group A (8%) and group B (9%; p = 0.91). Limiting autologous blood donation to anemic patients decreased cost compared to routine autologous blood donation (US 256.63/patient versus US 511.44/patient) without exposing patients to increased allogenic blood transfusions. Targeted blood management in total knee replacement surgery decreases transfusion rates and reduces cost.
This article appears in HSS Journal: Volume 7, Number 2.
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About the HSS Journal
HSS Journal, an academic peer-reviewed journal, is published twice a year, February and September, and features articles by internal faculty and HSS alumni that present current research and clinical work in the field of musculoskeletal medicine performed at HSS, including research articles, surgical procedures, and case reports.