The study authors examined 160 elective spine surgery patients at a major academic medical center and assessed comorbidities as well as complication rates. There wasn't a significant difference in baseline characteristics. The researchers found:
1. The patients who received blood transfusions reported 44.67 percent complication rate, compared with 23 percent complication rate among nontransfusion patients.
2. In total, 9.38 percent of the patients had 30-day readmissions; in the transfusion cohort, 16.67 percent of patients were readmitted in the first 30 days after discharge, compared with 5 percent in the nontransfusion cohort.
3. Intra- or perioperative allogeneic RBC transfusion was an independent predictor of readmissions within 30 days of surgery.
4. The study authors concluded, "Our study suggests that allogeneic RBC transfusions may be associated with increased postoperative complications, length of stay and 30-day readmission rates."