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University of Maryland finds restricting post-surgery blood transfusion is safe for some hip patients
Date:12/14/2011

uld walk again. We found that for some of these patients transfusion can be an unnecessary medical procedure."

The study, published online on December 14, was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Terrin was principal investigator for the data coordinating center, which collected and analyzed the data gathered at clinical sites in the United States and Canada. The clinical arm of the trial was led by principal investigator Jeffrey L. Carson, M.D., professor and chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

For their research, the scientists enrolled 2,016 older patients with anemia after hip surgery between 2004 and 2009. The patients had hemoglobin levels of less than 10 grams per deciliter after surgery, a sign of anemia. Patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group received a liberal transfusion strategy, meaning that patients were administered red blood cell transfusions when their hemoglobin levels were below 10 grams per deciliter, a level at which many patients would not even show symptoms of anemia. The second group received a more restrictive treatment strategy, meaning that at the discretion of their doctors they were given transfusions when their hemoglobin levels reached 8 grams per deciliter or if they showed symptoms of anemia.

The researchers followed up each patient about 60 days after their placement in one of the study groups to track how many were unable to walk across a room without another person's assistance or had died. They found that 35.2 percent of patients in the liberal transfusion strategy group had died or could not walk across a room. In the more restrictive transfusion group, the rate of death or inability to walk was 34.7 percent, not much different than in the liberal arm.

"This study shows that there i
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Contact: Karen Robinson
karobinson@som.umaryland.edu
410-706-7590
University of Maryland Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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