The Adherence to an Intraoperative Blood Product Transfusion Algorithm Is Associated With Reduced Blood Product Transfusions in Cardiac Surgical Patients Undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts and Aortic and/or Valve Replacement Surgery: A Single-Center, Observational Study

Megan Lanigan, Daniel Siers, Megan Schramski, Andrew Shaffer, Ranjit John, Ryan Knoper, Stephen Huddleston, Lauren Gunn-Sandell, Alexander Kaizer, Tjorvi E. Perry

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Objective: To demonstrate the value of a viscoelastic-based intraoperative transfusion algorithm to reduce non-RBC product administration in adult cardiac surgical patients. Design: A prospective observational study. Setting: At a quaternary academic teaching hospital. Participants: Cardiac surgical patients. Interventions: Viscoelastic-based intraoperative transfusion algorithm. Measurements and Main Results: The study authors compared intraoperative blood product transfusion rates in 184 cardiac surgical patients to 236 historic controls after implementing a viscoelastic-based algorithm. The authors found a non-significant reduction in transfusion of 23.8% for fresh frozen plasma (FFP) units (0.84 ± 1.4 v 0.64 ± 1.38; p = ns), 33.4% for platelet units (0.90 ± 1.39 v 0.60 ± 131; p = ns), and 15.8% for cryoprecipitate units (0.19 ± 0.54 v 0.16 ± 0.50; p = ns). They found a 43.9% reduction in red blood cell (RBC) units transfused (1.98 ± 2.24 v 0.55 ± 1.36; p = 0.008). There were no statistically significant differences in time to extubation (8.0 hours (4.0-21.0) v 8.0 (4.0-22.3), reoperation for bleeding (15 [12.3%] v 10 [10.6%]), intensive care unit length of stay (ICU LOS) (51.0 hours [28.0-100.5] v 53.5 [33.3-99.0]) or hospital LOS (9.0 days [6.0-15.0] v 10.0 [7.0-17.0]). Deviation from algorithm adherence was 32.7% (48/147). Packed RBC, FFP, platelets, cryoprecipitate, and cell saver were significantly reduced in the Algorithm Compliant Cohort compared with historic controls, whereas times to extubation, ICU LOS, and hospital LOS did not reach significance. Conclusions: After the implementation of a viscoelastic-based algorithm, patients received fewer packed RBC, FFP, platelets, cryoprecipitate, and cell saver. Algorithm-compliant patients received fewer transfusions; however, reductions in times to extubation, ICU LOS, and hospital LOS were not statistically significant compared with historic controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1135-1143
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number5
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Inc.


  • Cardiac surgery
  • Coagulopathy
  • Viscoelastic testing
  • blood product management

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