In a randomized prospective study of patients having cardiac surgery, autologous blood collected from mediastinal tubes was autotransfused preferentially in 63 patients (ATS), whereas 51 patients received bank blood for transfusion (control). Comparison of the two groups showed no significant difference in regard to age, sex, operations performed, or total postoperative bleeding (ATS 813 ± 121 ml. per square meter versus control 711 ± 93 ml. per square meter; N.S.). Although mean postoperative blood replacement was similar in the two groups (ATS 4.3 ± 0.6 units per patient versus control 4.8 ± 0.6 units per patient), requirements for transfusion of stored bank blood were reduced by 50 percent in the ATS group (ATS 2.4 ± 0.3 units per patient versus control 4.8 ± 0.6 units per patient; p < 0.005). Coagulation studies demonstrated that this blood was defibrinogenated; yet it contains significantly more platelets and clotting factors than does bank blood. In this study, autotransfusion of shed mediastinal blood was safe and simple. It significantly reduced bank blood requirements and resulted in substantial financial savings for the patients and the hospital.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine