Preop factors predict need for blood transfusion after hip and knee replacement

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The preoperative hemoglobin level and patient weight can predict which patients are likely to require blood transfusion following hip and knee replacement, according to a report published in the February issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Dr. Luis A. Marin and colleagues, from the Hospital Nuestra Senora de Alarcos in Ciudad Real, Spain, analyzed data from 296 patients who underwent hip and knee replacement to determine the risk factors for postoperative blood transfusion.

Univariate analysis revealed that preoperative hemoglobin level, duration of surgery, height, weight, and gender were predictors of postoperative blood transfusion. However, on multivariate analysis, only preoperative hemoglobin level and weight were confirmed as significant independent predictors.

For each 10 g/dL increase in the preoperative hemoglobin level, the likelihood of requiring a transfusion decreased by 2.5 times, the researchers note. Similarly, for each 1 kg increase in weight, the probability of requiring a transfusion decreased by 1.05 times.

Because of the risks associated with blood transfusion, it is important to be able to identify patients at risk for transfusion so that prophylactic measures can be implemented, the authors state. The current findings indicate that the preoperative hemoglobin level and the patient weight could be helpful in this regard.

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2002;84-A:216-220

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