The effect of a preoperative erythropoietin protocol as part of a multifaceted blood management program in daily clinical practice (CME)
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The effectiveness of a preoperative erythropoietin (EPO) protocol to reduce allogeneic blood transfusions (ABTs) in daily clinical practice has been insufficiently studied. This study evaluated the effect of such a protocol, as part of a multifaceted blood management program, in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty (THA).
Study Design and Methods
This retrospective observational study was designed as an interrupted time series (1999-2010). The intervention was the introduction of an EPO protocol in THA patients in 2003. Patients were classified according to preoperative hemoglobin (Hb) level: 10 to 13 g/dL (eligible patients for EPO) and more than 13 g/dL. The primary outcome was the percentage of patients receiving an ABT. Segmented regression analysis was used to estimate changes in outcome after the intervention.
A total of 4568 THA patients were included. The absolute reductions in ABTs after the intervention were 17% (95% confidence interval [CI], 6%-29%) for the total study population and 25% (95% CI, 11%-39%) and 8% (95% CI, −5% to 21%) for the Hb groups 10 to 13 and more than 13 g/dL, respectively. In the postintervention period, 46% of the eligible patients (Hb level, 10-13 g/dL) actually received EPO. The transfusion rate in the EPO group was lower compared to the non-EPO group: 14 and 50%, respectively (p < 0.01).
Introduction of a preoperative EPO protocol reduced the transfusion rate in THA patients in daily clinical practice. The reduction must be seen as part of a multifaceted blood management program, in which increased awareness of blood transfusion contributes simultaneously and substantially to the reduction in transfusion rate.