5 key notes on how blood transfusion affects spine surgery outcomes & costs

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |

A new study published in The Spine Journal examines how liberal blood transfusion affects spine surgery patient outcomes and costs.

The study authors gathered data from patients who underwent spine surgery at a single institution between 2008 and 2015. There were 6,931 patients included in the procedure who underwent surgery with a variety of techniques. The study authors found:


1. Patients who reported nadir hemoglobin between 8 and 10 g/dL for the whole hospital stay had longer stays — six days — compared to the non-transfusion patients who had three day hospital stays on average.


2. Eleven percent of the transfused patients reported perioperative morbidity, compared with 6.1 percent of the non-transfused patients.


3. A logistic regression analysis showed the transfused patients had a higher risk for perioperative morbidity even after controlling for the levels fused, type of surgery, age, gender, race, estimated blood lose, baseline hemoglobin value, CCI score and ASA class.


4. The additional costs associated with the liberal blood transfusion use ranged from $202,675 to $700,151 annually.


5. The study authors concluded, "Our results suggest that modification of transfusion practice may be a potential area for improving patient outcomes and reducing costs."


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