Who’s Receiving Blood Transfusions after Primary TKA?

    A few years ago, orthopaedic surgeons at the University of Massachusetts in Worcester added tranexamic acid (TXA) to their blood management protocol to help reduce the need for blood transfusions in their joint replacement patients.

    In reviewing their patient records before and after adoption of TXA, they wondered how their data would compare with national trends in blood transfusions for joint replacement patients. But as they investigated the question, they quickly realized that recent data were not available.

    To fill the gap in the literature, they reviewed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Hospital Discharge Survey for all primary TKA patients who were admitted to hospitals included in the survey between 2001 and 2010, identifying those who had received a blood transfusion during the same admission.

    More than 33,000 patients had been admitted for a primary TKA during that time, with 5160 (15.6%) requiring a transfusion.

    Were there any correlations between blood transfusions and adverse events, such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, or discharge disposition? Were there any patients at greater risk than others for receiving a blood transfusion? Did the blood transfusion rate change during the period that was investigated?

    Nicholas Schraut, MD, was the lead author on the study, and he answers those questions in an interview with ICJR. Click the image above to hear his comments on the methodology, findings, and implications of the study.

    Producer and Director: Michael Bugera; Post Production: Charles J. Maynard


    Schraut N, Moretti V, Metzmaker J. National trends of blood transfusion after primary total knee arthroplasty. Presented at the 3rd Annual Pan Pacific Orthopaedic Congress, August 10-13, 2016, Kona, Hawaii.