Compliance rates and outcomes associated with a restrictive transfusion policy in gynecologic oncology patients

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Objectives Blood products are scarce but essential medical resources. Initially transfusions showed increased perioperative complications, prolonged hospitalizations, and higher mortality. Recently developed restrictive transfusion policies have not shown those adverse affects in critically ill patients. Hospitals adopted these policies to guide blood product administration. The objective of this study is to determine compliance with a restrictive transfusion policy in gynecologic oncology patients. Methods A retrospective chart review of gynecologic oncology patients undergoing transfusion with packed red blood cells (pRBCs) from 12/2008 to 9/2011 was performed. Cancer type and stage, surgical procedure, hemoglobin values, pRBC transfusions, intraoperative blood loss, and postoperative complications were collected. Each transfusion was classified as compliant or noncompliant. Results A total of 582 patients requiring 2,276 blood transfusions were identified. The mean age was 55.9 years. Ovarian and endometrial cancers were the most common malignancies. Gynecologic oncologists were 81.1% compliant with the restrictive transfusion policy; 59.0% of transfusions were secondary to exceptions. Noncompliant transfusions were commonly given on the day of surgery when intraoperative blood loss was < 1500 cc and for asymptomatic anemia. Only 64.7% of the transfusions were ordered in single unit increments. There was no significant difference in postoperative infections, thrombotic events, and mortality between compliant and noncompliant transfusions. Conclusion The majority of gynecologic oncology patients receive transfusions compliant with the restrictive transfusion policy. Morbidity and mortality are not increased with a restrictive transfusion policy. Efforts to improve compliance should focus on limiting transfusions when the hemoglobin is ≥ 7 g/dL and transfusing in single pRBCs unit increments. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Boone JD; Kim KH; Marques M; Straughn JM
  • Start Page

  • 227
  • End Page

  • 230
  • Volume

  • 132
  • Issue

  • 1