Management Of The Patient Presenting With Anaemia In The Preoperative Setting

Transfus Apher Sci. 2019 Aug;58(4):392-396

Preoperative anaemia is common, seen in a third of patients before major surgery. Both preoperative anaemia and blood transfusion are associated with increased patient risk and adverse outcome. Patient Blood Management (PBM) is the multidisciplinary, multimodal approach to optimising the care of patients who may require blood transfusion.

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Preoperative anaemia is common, seen in a third of patients before major surgery. Both preoperative anaemia and blood transfusion are associated with increased patient risk and adverse outcome. Patient Blood Management (PBM) is the multidisciplinary, multimodal approach to optimising the care of patients who may require blood transfusion. Guidelines exist with many recommendations throughout the perioperative pathway. However, the efficacy of individual recommendations as an intervention in terms of clinical outcome can be confusing.

In the UK the first national audit of PBM in surgery was carried out in 2015. This reviewed the use and impact of PBM recommendations in hospitals throughout the UK where major surgery was undertaken. The current evidence base for these PBM recommendations was reviewed and the patient outcome in terms of blood transfusion use and length of hospital stay assessed in those where PBM interventions were followed.

For the patient who presents with preoperative anaemia, ‘quick wins’ were identified that reduced blood transfusion use and reduced length of stay in hospital; preoperative discontinuation of anticoagulation or antiplatelet therapy, and intraoperative use of tranexamic acid and cell salvage.