Variation of Blood Transfusion in Patients Undergoing Major Noncardiac Surgery
*Department of Anesthesiology, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, NY †Department of Surgery, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT ‡RAND, RAND Health, Boston, MA §Comparative Data & Information Research, University HealthSystem Consortium. and Department of Health Systems Management, Rush University, Chicago, IL.Annals of surgery (Impact Factor: 8.33). 07/2012; 257(2). DOI: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e31825ffc37
OBJECTIVE:: To examine the hospital variability in use of red blood cells (RBCs), fresh-frozen plasma (FFP), and platelet transfusions in patients undergoing major noncardiac surgery. BACKGROUND:: Blood transfusion is commonly used in surgical procedures in the United States. Little is known about the hospital variability in perioperative transfusion rates for noncardiac surgery. METHODS:: We used the University HealthSystem Consortium database (2006-2010) to examine hospital variability in use of allogeneic RBC, FFP, and platelet transfusions in patients undergoing major noncardiac surgery. We used regression-based techniques to quantify the variability in hospital transfusion practices and to study the association between hospital characteristics and the likelihood of transfusion. RESULTS:: After adjusting for patient risk factors, hospital transfusion rates varied widely for patients undergoing total hip replacement (THR), colectomy, and pancreaticoduodenectomy. Compared with patients undergoing THR in average-transfusion hospitals, patients treated in high-transfusion hospitals have a greater than twofold higher odds of being transfused with RBCs [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.41; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.89-3.09], FFP (AOR = 2.81; 95% CI, 2.02-3.91), and platelets (AOR = 2.52; 95% CI, 1.95-3.25), whereas patients in low-transfusion hospitals have an approximately 50% lower odds of receiving RBCs (AOR = 0.45; 95% CI, 0.35-0.57), FFP (AOR = 0.37; 95% CI, 0.27-0.51), and platelets (AOR = 0.42; 95% CI, 0.29-0.62). Similar results were obtained for colectomy and pancreaticoduodenectomy. CONCLUSIONS:: There was dramatic hospital variability in perioperative transfusion rates among patients undergoing major noncardiac surgery at academic medical centers. In light of the potential complications of transfusion therapy, reducing this variability in hospital transfusion practices may result in improved surgical outcomes.
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ABSTRACT: Cardiothoracic and vascular critical care has emerged as a subspecialty due to procedural breakthroughs, an aging population, and a multidisciplinary collaboration. This subspecialty now has a dedicated professional society, recently published guidelines, and plans for standardized certification. This paradigm shift represents a major collaboration opportunity for our specialty. The rise of evidence-based perioperative practice has produced a culture of large trials in our specialty to search for solutions to the challenging outcome questions. Besides the growth in the development of evidence, the consensus conference format and postpublication peer review have both emerged as effective processes for identifying the most relevant high-quality evidence. The quest for best perioperative practice has highlighted the importance of teamwork at all phases of care with respect to transitions in care, blood component transfusion, and research misconduct. The emergence of ultrasound as a standard for central vascular access also has been emphasized in recent multisociety guidelines. There also has been a paradigm shift in the management of patients with coronary artery disease. Recent guidelines have emphasized the roles of the cardiac anesthesiologist and the interventional cardiologist as part of the heart team approach. Major recent trials in comparative effectiveness have challenged the advantages of percutaneous coronary intervention, off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery, and intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation. The year 2012 has witnessed the emergence of new paradigms of care in our specialty with the emphasis on teamwork, safety, and quality. These processes will further improve perioperative outcome.
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ABSTRACT: Although there is significant variability in the rate of blood transfusion in surgical patients, the role of surgical skill as a determinant of blood use is unknown. We examined the association between surgery resident participation and intraoperative blood transfusion, and 30-day mortality and complications, among 381,036 patients undergoing noncardiac surgery, adjusting for patient factors and procedure complexity. Compared to attending surgeons working without a resident, cases in which the attendings worked with either Postgraduate Year (PGY) 3 to 4 resident or a PGY5 to 8 resident had a 56% (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.56; 95% confidence interval [CI, 1.48-1.64) or a 78% (AOR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.70-1.87) higher odds of receiving a blood transfusion, respectively. Involvement of surgical interns or junior residents (PGY1-2), whose role in the operative procedure is assumed to be limited, was associated with a 27% higher odds of receiving a blood transfusion (AOR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.18-1.37). Overall, resident involvement was not associated with increased risk of 30-day mortality (AOR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.91-1.04), but was associated with a slightly increased risk of complications (AOR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.10-1.16). Senior surgery resident participation in noncardiac surgery is associated with between a 56% to 78% higher risk of receiving a blood transfusion intraoperatively compared to attending surgeons working without a resident. Assuming that senior surgical trainees are performing critical parts of the operative procedure and are less skilled than attending surgeons, the findings from this exploratory study suggest that intraoperative blood transfusion may serve as an indirect measure of surgical technical quality.
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ABSTRACT: Most studies examining the prognostic value of preoperative coagulation testing are too small to examine the predictive value of routine preoperative coagulation testing in patients having noncardiac surgery. Using data from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement database, the authors performed a retrospective observational study on 316,644 patients having noncardiac surgery who did not have clinical indications for preoperative coagulation testing. The authors used multivariable logistic regression analysis to explore the association between platelet count abnormalities and red cell transfusion, mortality, and major complications. Thrombocytopenia or thrombocytosis occurred in 1 in 14 patients without clinical indications for preoperative platelet testing. Patients with mild thrombocytopenia (101,000-150,000 µl), moderate-to-severe thrombocytopenia (<100,000 µl), and thrombocytosis (≥450,000 µl) were significantly more likely to be transfused (7.3%, 11.8%, 8.9%, 3.1%) and had significantly higher 30-day mortality rates (1.5%, 2.6%, 0.9%, 0.5%) compared with patients with a normal platelet count. In the multivariable analyses, mild thrombocytopenia (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.28; 95% CI, 1.18-1.39) and moderate-to-severe thrombocytopenia (AOR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.49-2.08), and thrombocytosis (AOR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.30-1.60) were associated with increased risk of blood transfusion. Mild thrombocytopenia (AOR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.11-1.56) and moderate-to-severe thrombocytopenia (AOR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.43-2.61) were also associated with increased risk of 30-day mortality, whereas thrombocytosis was not (AOR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.72-1.22). Platelet count abnormalities found in the course of routine preoperative screening are associated with a higher risk of blood transfusion and death.
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