Platelet transfusion during the rewarming phase of neonatal cardiac surgery was associated with reduced bleeding and improved postoperative outcomes, compared to platelets given after coming off bypass.
In neonates, transfusion of platelets after hemodilution from cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) has been standard. We hypothesize that platelet administration during the rewarming phase before termination of CPB would reduce coagulopathy, enhance hemostasis, reduce transfusion, and improve postoperative outcomes after neonatal cardiac surgery.
A prospective, randomized trial was performed in 46 neonates. Controls received platelets only at the end of bypass with other blood products to assist in hemostasis. The treatment group received 10 mL/kg of platelets during the rewarming phase of bypass after cross-clamp release. After protamine, transfusion and perioperative management protocols were identical and constant among groups.
Two neonates in each group were excluded secondary to postoperative need for extracorporeal support. Controls (n = 21) and treatment patients (n = 21) were similar in age, weight, case complexity, associated syndromes, single ventricle status, and CPB times. Compared to controls, the treatment group required 40% less postbypass blood products (58 ± 29 vs 103 ± 80 mL/kg, P = .04), and case completion time after protamine administration was 28 minutes faster (P = .016). The treatment group required fewer postoperative mediastinal explorations for bleeding (P = .045) and had a lower fluid balance (P = .04). The treatment group had shorter mechanical ventilation (P = .016) and length of intensive care unit times (P = .033). There were no 30-day mortalities in either group.
Platelet transfusion during the rewarming phase of neonatal cardiac surgery was associated with reduced bleeding and improved postoperative outcomes, compared to platelets given after coming off bypass. Further studies are necessary to understand mechanisms and benefits of this strategy.
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