Background - Patients undergoing colorectal cancer surgery may require a blood transfusion. However, blood transfusions are associated with postoperative complications and long-term oncologic outcomes. Patient blood management (PBM) is an evidence-based multimodal approach for blood transfusion optimisation. We sought to investigate the effects of PBM implementation in blood transfusion practice and on short-term postoperative outcomes.
Materials and methods - This study retrospectively reviewed data from 2,080 patients who had undergone colorectal cancer surgery at a single centre from 2015 to 2020. PBM was implemented in 2018, and outcomes were compared between the pre-PBM (2015-2017) and the post-PBM (2018-2020) periods.
Results - A total of 951 patients in the pre-PBM group and 1,129 in the post-PBM group were included. The transfusion rate of the total number of packed red blood cells (PRBCs) used decreased after PBM implementation (16.3 vs 8.3%; p<0.001). The rate of appropriately transfused PRBCs increased from the pre-PBM period to the post-PBM period (42 vs 67%; p<0.001). There was no significant difference in rates of complications between the two groups (23.0 vs 21.5%; p=0.412); however, a reduction in both anastomosis leakage
(5.8 vs 3.7%; p=0.026) and the length of stay after surgery (LOS) (10.3±11.2 vs 8.2±5.7 days; p<0.001) was reported after PBM implementation.
Discussion - The PBM programme optimised the transfusion rate in patients undergoing colorectal cancer surgery. Implementation of the PBM programme had a positive effect on postoperative length of stay and anastomosis leakage while no increase in the risk of other complications was reported.
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