Arch Intern Med. 2012 Jul 2:1-7. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2012.2449. [Epub ahead of print]
Outcome of Patients Who Refuse Transfusion After Cardiac Surgery: A Natural Experiment With Severe Blood ConservationOutcome of Patients Who Refuse Transfusion.

Pattakos G, Koch CG, Brizzio ME, Batizy LH, Sabik JF, Blackstone EH, Lauer MS.
Abstract

BACKGROUND Jehovah's Witness patients (Witnesses) who undergo cardiac surgery provide a unique natural experiment in severe bloodconservation because anemia, transfusion, erythropoietin, and antifibrinolytics have attendant risks. Our objective was to compare morbidity and long-term survival of Witnesses undergoing cardiac surgery with a similarly matched group of patients who received transfusions. METHODS A total of 322Witnesses and 87 453 non-Witnesses underwent cardiac surgery at our center from January 1, 1983, to January 1, 2011. All Witnesses prospectively refused blood transfusions. Among non-Witnesses, 38 467 did not receive blood transfusions and 48 986 did. We used propensity methods to match patient groups and parametric multiphase hazard methods to assess long-term survival. Our main outcome measures were postoperative morbidity complications, in-hospital mortality, and long-term survival. RESULTS Witnesses had fewer acute complications and shorter length of stay than matched patients who received transfusions: myocardial infarction, 0.31% vs 2.8% (P = .01); additional operation for bleeding, 3.7% vs 7.1% (P = .03); prolonged ventilation, 6% vs 16% (P < .001); intensive care unit length of stay (15th, 50th, and 85th percentiles), 24, 25, and 72 vs 24, 48, and 162 hours (P < .001); and hospital length of stay (15th, 50th, and 85th percentiles), 5, 7, and 11 vs 6, 8, and 16 days (P < .001).Witnesses had better 1-year survival (95%; 95% CI, 93%-96%; vs 89%; 95% CI, 87%-90%; P = . 007) but similar 20-year survival (34%; 95% CI, 31%-38%; vs 32% 95% CI, 28%-35%; P = . 90). CONCLUSIONS Witnesses do not appear to be at increased risk for surgical complications or long-term mortality when comparisons are properly made by transfusion status. Thus, current extreme blood management strategies do not appear to place patients at heightened risk for reduced long-term survival.


Outcome of Patients Who Refuse Transfusion A... [Arch Intern Med. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI