A Survey of Patient Blood Management for Patients Undergoing Cardiac Surgery in Nine European Countries

J Clin Anesth. 2021 Sep;72:110311

Study objective

To describe and compare patient blood management (PBM) practices in cardiac surgery in nine European countries and identify the main risk factors for bleeding or transfusion according to the surveyed centres.

Design

We set up an online survey to evaluate PBM practices in two clinical scenarios, risk factors for bleeding or transfusion, and previous experience with antifibrinolytics.

Setting

This survey was completed by European anesthesiologists in 2019.

Patients

No patients were included in the survey.

Intervention

None.

Measurements

We evaluated the degree of implementation of PBM practices in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.

Main results

Ninety-eight of 177 responses (38%) were complete with variable response rates by country. In a non-emergent situation, no respondents would transfuse red cells preoperatively in an anaemic patient, while cell salvage (89%) and antifibrinolytics (82%) would almost always be used. Optimization of Hemoglobin level (36%) and use of off-pump techniques (34%), minimally invasive surgery (25%) and relatively recently-developed CPB technologies such as mini-bypass (32%) and autologous priming (38%), varied greatly across countries. In an emergent clinical situation, topical haemostatic agents would frequently be used (61%). Tranexamic acid (72%) and aprotinin (20%) were the main antifibrinolytics used, with method of administration and dose varying markedly across countries. Five factors were considered to increase risk of bleeding or transfusion by at least 90% of respondents: pre-operative anaemia, prior cardiac surgery, clopidogrel 5 days or less before surgery, use of other P2Y12 inhibitors at any point, and thrombocytopenia <100.109 platelets/mm3.

Conclusion

PBM guidelines are not universally implemented in European cardiac surgery centres or countries, resulting in discrepancies in techniques and products used for a given clinical situation.