Are we cross-matching too much blood for elective open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair?
OBJECTIVES: This study aims to identify current blood transfusion requirements in elective open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair and to compare this to an existing maximum surgical blood order schedule. METHODS: We retrospectively identified patients who underwent elective open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair over a 40-month period in our institution. Pre-operative number of units cross-matched and the number of units actually transfused were identified. The cross-match to transfusion ratio was then calculated. RESULTS: Blood transfusion at any time post-operatively was required in 23 (48.9%) cases. Patients needing an intra-operative blood transfusion had a median of 2 units. Of the pre-operative cross-matched units (123), only 43 were used, giving a cross-match to transfusion ratio of 2.86. CONCLUSION: Our current maximum surgical blood order schedule is poorly followed and a cross-match to transfusion ratio of 2.86 indicates we are cross-matching too many units for elective open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. A carefully considered individualised management of blood products, with the requirement of at least a valid group and save sample, may be more appropriate.