Nineteen years of experience with autotransfusion for elective surgery in children: more troublesome than we expected.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Iwate Medical University, 19-1 Uchimaru, Morioka City, Iwate 020-8505, Japan.
Transfusion (Impact Factor: 3.53). 09/2007; 47(8):1503-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2007.01290.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Under the rationale that children undergoing elective surgery are the best candidates for autologous blood donors because of their long life expectancy, aggressive donations of autologous blood, even from infants, have been reported. A number of problems are associated with the procedure, however, whereas the risks of homologous blood are very low.
From 1987 through 2005, of 5792 patients referred to blood transfusion services at two Japanese university hospitals for autologous blood donations, 314 children younger than 16 years old served as subjects for assessment.
Of 314 children, 7 were not suitable as autologous donors. In most cases this was due to uncooperative behavior. Over a follow-up period of 19 years, the authors encountered 53 cases (17.3%) of donation-related problems, and this rate was higher than the 6 percent rate recorded for adult cases (316/5305). Nine children suffered crucial complications such as vasovagal reactions, and one 14-year-old boy required a vasopressor drug. Important findings were that 6 of these were first-time donors, and the amount of blood drawn was under 10 percent of their estimated blood volume.
Of 53 donation-related problems, 9 (17.0%) were accompanied by marked hypotension. Drawing autologous blood from children has become easier with advanced devices; however, lessening of anxiety and tension are essential for the safety of children's autologous blood donation programs. Aggressive donation should be avoided.

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Intraoperative blood loss in scoliosis surgery often requires transfusions. Autogenous blood decreases but does not eliminate risks typically associated with allogenic blood transfusion. Costs associated with transfusions are significant. Tranexamic acid (TXA) has been shown to decrease blood loss in cardiac and joint surgery. Few studies have examined its use in pediatric spine surgery, and the results are inconsistent. The aim of this study was to determine whether TXA decreases intraoperative blood loss and transfusion requirements in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients undergoing posterior spinal fusion by a single surgeon. Methods The medical records and operative reports of surgically treated patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis between 2000 and 2009 were retrospectively reviewed. The inclusion criteria were: (1) patients who underwent instrumented posterior spinal fusion, (2) had complete medical records, and (3) were treated by the same surgeon. Forty-nine patients who met the inclusion criteria were divided into two groups: Group A (25 patients) received TXA, while Group B (24 patients) did not receive TXA. Results After controlling for age at the time of surgery, gender, and number of vertebral levels fused, the mean intraoperative blood loss was significantly lower in Group A (537 ml) than in Group B (1,245 ml) (p = 0.027). The mean volume of blood transfused intraoperatively was 426 and 740 ml for Group A and Group B, respectively. The difference was not statistically significant after controlling for age, gender, and number of levels fused (p = 0.078). Conclusion TXA significantly decreased intraoperative blood loss in posterior spinal fusions performed for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.
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