Blood management in fast-track orthopedic surgery: An evidence-based narrative review

F. Pennestrì, N. Maffulli, P. Sirtori, P. Perazzo, F. Negrini, G. Banfi, G.M. Peretti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and purpose: Innovations able to maintain patient safety while reducing the amount of transfusion add value to orthopedic procedures. Opportunities for improvement arise especially in elective procedures, as long as room for planning is available. Although many strategies have been proposed, there is no consensus about the most successful combination. The purpose of this investigation is to identify information to support blood management strategies in fast-track total joint arthroplasty (TJA) pathway, to (i) support clinical decision making according to current evidence and best practices, and (ii) identify critical issues which need further research.

Methods and materials: We identified conventional blood management strategies in elective orthopedic procedures. We performed an electronic search about blood management strategies in fast-track TJA. We designed tables to match every step of the former with the latter. We submitted the findings to clinicians who operate using fast-track surgery protocols in TJA at our research hospital.

Results: Preoperative anemia detection and treatment, blood anticoagulants/aggregants consumption, transfusion trigger, anesthetic technique, local infiltration analgesia, drainage clamping and removals, and postoperative multimodal thromboprophylaxis are the factors which can add best value to a fast-track pathway, since they provide significant room for planning and prediction.

Conclusion: The difference between conventional and fast-track pathways does not lie in the contents of blood management, which are related to surgeons/surgeries, materials used and patients, but in the way these contents are integrated into each other, since elective orthopedic procedures offer significant room for planning. Further studies are needed to identify optimal regimens.

Keywords: Blood management; Ethics; Fast-track surgery; Health care value; Joint replacement; Orthopedics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number263
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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