Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Operative blood loss, blood transfusion, and 30-day mortality in older patients after major noncardiac surgery.

Wu WC, Smith TS, Henderson WG, Eaton CB, Poses RM, Uttley G, Mor V, Sharma SC, Vezeridis M, Khuri SF, Friedmann PD. Operative blood loss, blood transfusion, and 30-day mortality in older patients after major noncardiac surgery. Annals of surgery. 2010 Jul 1; 252(1):11-7.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVE: Anemia and operative blood loss are common in the elderly, but evidence is lacking on whether intraoperative blood transfusions can reduce the risk of postoperative death. METHODS: We analyzed retrospective data from 239,286 patients 65 years of older who underwent major noncardiac surgery in 1997 to 2004 at veteran hospitals nationwide. Propensity-score matching was used to adjust for differences between patients who received intraoperative blood transfusions (9.4%) and those who did not, and data were used to determine the association between intraoperative blood transfusion and 30-day postoperative mortality. RESULTS: After propensity-score matching, intraoperative blood transfusion was associated with mortality risk reductions in patients with preoperative hematocrit levels of < 24% (odds ratio: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.41-0.87), and in patients with hematocrit of 30% or greater when there is substantial (500-999 mL) blood loss (odds ratio: 0.35, 95% CI: 0.22-0.56 for hematocrit levels between 30%-35.9% and 0.78, 95% CI: 0.62-0.97 for hematocrit levels of 36% or greater). When operative blood loss was < 500 mL, transfusion was not associated with mortality reductions for patients with hematocrit levels of 24% or greater, and conferred increased mortality risks in patients with preoperative hematocrit levels between 30% to 35.9% (odds ratio 1.29, 95% CI: 1.04-1.60). CONCLUSIONS: Intraoperative blood transfusion is associated with a lower 30-day postoperative mortality among elderly patients undergoing major noncardiac surgery if there is substantial operative blood loss or low preoperative hematocrit levels ( < 24%). Transfusion is associated with increased mortality risks for those with preoperative hematocrit levels between 30% and 35.9% and < 500 mL of blood loss.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.