ABSTRACT: Current guidelines on blood ordering in our hospital require all patients undergoing elective breast cancer surgery to have blood grouped, screened and saved as an part of a pre-operative assessment. The aim of this audit was to assess the need for, and cost effectiveness of, this approach in elective breast cancer surgery.
Retrospective data collection was undertaken for a 2-year period using the theatre booking system. As a result, 497 consecutive elective breast surgery operations including mastectomies, wide local excisions and breast reconstruction procedures were identified for analysis. Using the hospital blood bank computer system, we established the blood group and save or cross-match status as well as the pre- and postoperative haemoglobin results and blood transfusion related data for each of the patients identified.
Of the 497 patients, 438 (88.1%) had blood sent for group-and-save. Of the total 497 patients identified, only 19 (3.82%) patients received a blood transfusion. From the 447 patients undergoing simple mastectomy or wide local excisions alone, 9 patients (1.81%) required transfusion. Fifty patients underwent an immediate reconstruction procedure of whom 10 (20%) required a transfusion.
This study demonstrates that reconstruction is more likely to be associated with the need for a postoperative transfusion. However, in the context of all breast surgery, blood transfusion is rarely requested. Given this, the time and cost involved in processing a group-and-save pre-operatively is not justified.
Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England 10/2008; 90(6):472-3. · 1.23 Impact Factor