Length of storage of transfused red blood cells and risk of prosthetic joint infection after primary knee arthroplasty.

Gómez-Lesmes SP, Tornero E, Martínez-Pastor JC, Pereira A, Marcos M, Soriano A
J Arthroplasty 2014;29:2016-2020.
NATA Rating :
Review by : E. Bisbe
NATA Review

The authors performed a retrospective study in 1331 consucutive patients undergoing primary total knee arthroplasty at a single centre with the objective to determine the potential influence of blood transfusion and length of red blood cell (RBC) storage on prosthetic joint infections.

After adjusting for important confounding factors, transfusion of RBCs stored for more than 14 days was the strongest predictive factor for prosthetic joint infection within 90 days after primary knee arthroplasty (OR 5.9, 95% CI 2.6–13.2, P = 0.001).

Although the study design does not allow inference of causality, the association between time of blood storage and prosthetic joint infection, one of the major complications of joint surgery, is of concern. The authors conclude that blood-saving techniques are desirable to reduce perioperative blood transfusion.

– Elvira Bisbe

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