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SA Orthopaedic Journal

On-line version ISSN 2309-8309
Print version ISSN 1681-150X

Abstract

VAN MARIE, Anne-Cecilia et al. A retrospective file audit of preoperative anaemia in patients referred to an anaesthesiology clinic before elective orthopaedic surgery. SA orthop. j. [online]. 2022, vol.21, n.1, pp.16-20. ISSN 2309-8309.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2309-8309/2022/v21n1a2.

BACKGROUND: Preoperative anaemia has been shown to be associated with increased postoperative morbidity and mortality, prolonged hospital stay, and increased allogeneic blood transfusions. With elective surgery there is time to manage preoperative anaemia. The aim was to determine the prevalence of preoperative anaemia and evaluate how anaemia was investigated and managed in adult patients who were referred from the Orthopaedic Clinic to the Universitas Academic Hospital Anaesthesiology Clinic between January 2016 and December 2018METHODS: The retrospective file audit included patient demographics, comorbidities and chronic medication, indication for elective surgery, haemoglobin level at first clinic visit, laboratory investigations done for anaemia, dates of clinic visits and surgery, whether the anaemia was corrected before surgery, and if there were any perioperative red cell transfusionsRESULTS: A total of 178 patients were included. The cut-off value for anaemia was 13 g/dL in both sexes. Forty-four patients (25%, 95% CI 19-32%) had preoperative anaemia with a median haemoglobin of 12.25 g/dL (IQR 11.2; 12.7). Their mean age was 63.3 (SD ± 10.0) years. Fifteen patients (34%) were booked for knee arthroplasty and 24 patients (55%) for hip replacement surgery. No workup was done for the anaemia, and only 15/44 (34%) anaemic patients received any form of treatment. Eighteen anaemic patients (41%) received perioperative red cell transfusions. Eight of the transfused patients (44%) developed postoperative sepsis, while five were still anaemic postoperativelyCONCLUSION: The prevalence of preoperative anaemia before elective orthopaedic surgery (25%) was the same as that reported before patient blood management was introduced internationally. None of the anaemic patients had a diagnostic workup and therefore did not receive therapy targeted at the cause of the anaemia. Perioperative red cell transfusions could have been significantly reduced. The clinic now focuses on managing preoperative anaemiaLevel of evidence: Level 3

Keywords : preoperative anaemia; elective orthopaedic procedures; patient blood management; preoperative care; blood transfusion.

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