Blood Conservation in Cardiac Surgery

Robin Varghese, Jeffrey Jhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Blood transfusion is the most common procedure in cardiac surgery. Increasing evidence exists that excess transfusions are harmful to patients. Transfusion reactions and complications, including infection, immune modulation, and lung injury, are known complications but underreported; hence, their significance is often disregarded. Furthermore, a number of randomized trials have shown that a restrictive transfusion strategy is equal to if not better than a liberal transfusion strategy. Despite the evidence for the use of restrictive transfusion triggers, its dissemination in the cardiac surgical community has met with resistance. In this review, we outline the risks of transfusion, compare restrictive and liberal transfusion strategies in cardiac surgery, and finally outline perioperative interventions to minimize transfusion in the cardiac surgical patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-301
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • antifibrinolytics
  • blood loss
  • cardiac surgery
  • cardiopulmonary bypass
  • postoperative care


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