INTRODUCTION: Cardiac surgery using cardiopulmonary bypass in newborns, infants and small children often requires intraoperative red blood cell transfusions to prime the circuit and oxygenator and to replace blood lost during surgery. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of red blood cell storage time prior to transfusion on postoperative morbidity in pediatric cardiac operations. METHODS: One hundred ninety-two consecutive children aged five years or less who underwent cardiac operations using cardiopulmonary bypass and who received red blood cells for priming the cardiopulmonary bypass circuit comprised the blood-prime group. Forty-seven patients receiving red blood cell transfusions after cardiopulmonary bypass were separately analyzed. Patients in the blood-prime group were divided into two groups based on the duration of storage of the red blood cells they received. The newer blood group included patients who received only red blood cells stored for less than or equal to four days and the older blood group included patients who received red blood cells stored for more than four days. RESULTS: Patients in the newer blood group had a significantly lower rate of pulmonary complications (3.5% versus 14.4%; P = 0.011) as well as a lower rate of acute renal failure (0.8% versus 5.2%; P = 0.154) than patients in the older blood group. Major complications (calculated as a composite score based on pulmonary, neurological, and gastroenterological complications, sepsis and acute renal failure) were found in 6.9% of the patients receiving newer blood and 17.1% of the patients receiving older blood (P = 0.027). After adjusting for other possible confounding variables, red blood cell storage time remained an independent predictor of major morbidity. The same association was not found for patients receiving red blood cell transfusions after cardiopulmonary bypass. CONCLUSIONS: The storage time of the red blood cells used for priming the cardiopulmonary bypass circuit in cardiac operations on newborns and young infants is an independent risk factor for major postoperative morbidity. Pulmonary complications, acute renal failure, and infections are the main complications associated with increased red blood cell storage time.
|Publication status||Published - 2009|
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