Background: Transfusion of fresh whole blood is superior to blood component therapy in correcting coagulopathies in children following cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB); however, a supply of fresh homologous whole blood is difficult to maintain. We hypothesized that transfusion of fresh autologous whole blood obtained prior to heparinization for CPB and infused following CPB would be associated with improved coagulation function when compared with standard therapy.
Methods: A total of 32 infants 5–12 kg undergoing noncomplex open cardiac surgery were randomly assigned to either the treatment or control group. In the treatment group, 15 ml·kg−1 of autologous whole blood was collected into a CPDA bag prior to heparinization while 15 ml·kg−1 of 5% albumin was infused intravenously. After reversal of heparin, coagulation tests were drawn in both groups, and the autologous whole blood was infused over 20 min in the treatment group.
Results: The treatment group had greater (P < 0.05) improvement in platelet count, prothrombin time, and fibrinogen than the control group.
Conclusions: We conclude that collection of fresh autologous whole blood prior to heparinization and reinfusion following CPB is associated with greater improvement of coagulation status after CPB in infants.