Despite recent advances in the techniques and instrumentation of medical procedures, major surgery is still commonly associated with substantial blood loss, subsequent anaemia, and the need for blood transfusion. In addition, preoperative anaemia is common in surgical patients, with a prevalence of 10 to 48%. It is well-known that anaemia increases the use of allogeneic blood products and is, furthermore, an independent risk factor for increased post-operative complications, prolonged hospital stay, and an increased mortality rate.
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