Using reconstituted blood – packed red cells and fresh-frozen plasma that are mixed in the operating room just before use – for heart bypass surgery in infants works better than using fresh whole blood, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and Childrens Medical Center Dallas have found.
Babies who received the reconstituted blood during surgery to repair congenital heart defects on average had shorter stays in the intensive care unit and spent less time on mechanical ventilation after surgery than babies who received fresh whole blood – blood that is less than 48 hours old and whose red cells and plasma have not been separated.
The findings, which appear in todays New England Journal of Medicine, put to rest a decades-long debate in the medical community, said Dr. Daniel Stromberg, assistant professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern and the studys senior author. "The results demonstrate that the current national opinion regarding the benefits of fresh whole blood is incorrect," said Dr. Stromberg, who is also a cardiologist at Childrens. "Fresh whole blood priming of the cardiopulmonary bypass circuit is actually worse in terms of clinical outcomes. This is important for patients and for blood banks – potentially saving lots of money and preserving component inventory."
Staishy Bostick Siem | EurekAlert!
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