The Effect of Acute Normovolaemic Haemodilution on Blood Transfusion Requirements in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair
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OBJECTIVE: to evaluate the impact of acute normovolaemic haemodilution (ANH) on the blood transfusion requirements in elective abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair in a single vascular unit. METHODS: thirty-two patients underwent ANH during elective AAA repair between 1992 and 1997. The operation was performed by the same surgeon/anaesthetist team in 75% of cases. Their demographic details, type of aneurysm (infra-renal or supra-renal), preoperative blood cross match, use of intra-operative red cell salvage, blood loss, peri-operative bank blood requirements, pre-op and on-discharge haemoglobin levels and post-operative outcome were recorded. The results were compared to a group of 40 randomly selected patients (to represent the unit average) who underwent elective AAA repair by variable surgeon/anaesthetist teams without ANH in the same time period. RESULTS: there were more supra-renal AAA repairs in the ANH group (8/32) than in the non-ANH group (0/40, p<0.01). ANH patients required significantly less blood transfusion peri-operatively (median 2 units) than the non-ANH patients (median 3 units, p=0.02). There were no other significant differences between the variables measured. CONCLUSION: these results suggest that a dedicated team can achieve significant reductions in the use of heterologous blood transfusion compared to the vascular unit average experience by the effective use of ANH.
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