A heightened awareness of the risks of blood transfusion and the previously reported common administration of blood products (31–55%) following thoracic surgery prompted us to evaluate our recent transfusion practices. Of 355 patients who underwent a thoracotomy or median sternotomy from July 1987 through September 1991, 91 (25.6%) were transfused a mean 3.1 units of blood within the first 30 postoperative days. Transfused and nontransfused patients were compared with respect to age, body surface area, preoperative hemoglobin, estimated operative blood loss, and estimated postoperative hemoglobin. Univariate analyses of variance indicate significant (P < 0.01) differences between the two groups of patients for preoperative hemoglobin, blood loss, and estimated postoperative hemoglobin. Transfusion frequencies by year of operation are: 1987, 36%; 1988, 31%; 1989, 33%; 1990, 23%; 1991, 15%. We conclude that our transfusion requirements are lower than reported rates and that clinical parameters may help predict the need for subsequent transfusion.
- blood transfusion requirements
- clinical parameters
- thoracic oncology
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