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Perioperative red blood cell transfusions

Perioperative red blood cell transfusions appeared associated with new or progressive venous thromboembolism (VTE) in the postoperative setting, according to study results.

Researchers used the American College of Surgery National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database to analyse outcomes from 750,937 patients who underwent surgical procedures in 2014 at 525 hospitals in North America.

Investigators calculated a postoperative VTE rate of 0.8%. This included 4,336 patients who developed deep vein thrombosis (DVT), 2,514 patients who developed pulmonary embolism (PE), and 541 patients who developed both.

Perioperative red blood cell transfusion appeared associated with increased risk of VTE, DVT and PE.

Compared with patients who underwent no transfusions, the VTE risk more than doubled for those who underwent one transfusion, tripled for two transfusions, and increased more than fourfold for those who underwent four transfusion events. The elevated VTE risk remained statistically significant across all surgical sub-specialties.

Click here for the research.

Image credit | Science Photo Library 

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