Editorial: Vox Sang
Shehata N, Naglie G, Alghamdi AA, Callum J, Mazer CD, Hebert P, Streiner D, Wilson K.
Background and Objective Identifying factors that can predict adults at high risk of receiving red blood cell transfusion during coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery may aid in more efficient blood banking practices and may tailor blood conservation strategies for these adult patients. The objective was to identify clinical factors associated with increased red cell transfusion in adults undergoing CABG surgery. Methods A systematic review of the MEDLINE and HealthSTAR databases from 1966 to December 2005 was conducted. Citations containing the medical subject heading or textwords ‘coronary artery bypass graft’, ‘CABG’ and ‘cardiovascular surgery’ were combined with the medical subject headings or textwords ‘transfusion’ and ‘blood transfusion’. Results A total of 2461 abstracts were retrieved. Twenty-one studies met the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Transfusion rates ranged from 7 to 97%. Several variables were identified that were associated with increased red cell transfusion rates including older age, female sex, low haemoglobin concentration or haematocrit value, renal insufficiency and urgent/emergent surgery. The strongest risk factor was the urgency of surgery (urgent or emergent surgery), which was associated with a 4x to 8x increase in transfusion rates compared to elective surgery. Increasing age and female sex increased the likelihood of transfusion by 1x to 3x and 2x, respectively. Conclusions Increasing patient age, female sex, lower preoperative haemoglobin levels, as well as the urgency of the CABG surgery were associated with higher transfusion rates. Identifying risk factors for transfusion may allow for targeted use of blood conservation strategies, improved efficiency in blood utilization and informing adults at risk of transfusion