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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 88-B, Issue 9 | Pages 1187 - 1191
1 Sep 2006
Verma RR Williamson JB Dashti H Patel D Oxborrow NJ

We studied 70 consecutive patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis who underwent corrective surgery. They were divided into two groups. In the study group of 38 patients one or more modern blood-conservation measures was used peri-operatively. The 32 patients in the control group did not have these measures. Both groups were similar in regard to age, body-weight, the number of levels fused and the type of surgery.

Only two patients in the study group were transfused with homologous blood and these transfusions were ‘off-protocol’. Wastage of autologous pre-donated units was minimal (6 of 83 units). By contrast, all patients in the control group were transfused with homologous blood. In the study group there was a significant decrease (p = 0.005) in the estimated blood loss when all the blood-conservation methods were used.

The use of blood-conservation measures, the lowering of the haemoglobin trigger for transfusion and the education of the entire team involved in the care of the patient can prevent the need for homologous blood transfusion in patients undergoing surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.