June 18, 2018

Perioperative RBC transfusions linked to postop VTE

By: Judy Mathias

Editor’s Note

In this study, perioperative red blood cell (RBC) transfusions were significantly associated with development of new or progressive postoperative venous thromboembolism (VTE) within 30 days of a surgical procedure.

Of 750,937 patients included in the analysis, 47,410 (6.3%) received at lest one perioperative RBC transfusion. Of these, 6,309 (0.8%) developed a postoperative VTE that warranted treatment.

A significant dose-response effect was observed with increased odds of VTE as the number of intraoperative and/or postoperative RBC transfusions increased.

The association between any perioperative RBC transfusion and the development of postoperative VTE remained robust with propensity score matching.

The findings should reinforce the importance of perioperative blood management practices, the authors say.


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