Liberal red blood cell transfusions impair quality of life after cardiac surgery [La transfusión liberal de concentrado de hematíes deteriora la calidad de vida después de la cirugía cardíaca]
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Background: The optimal blood management after cardiac surgery remains controversial. Moreover, blood transfusions may have an impact on long-term outcomes. Objective: The aim of this study is to characterize the impact of liberal red blood cell transfusions on Health-Related Quality of life (HRQoL) after cardiac surgery. Methods: We studied a cohort of 205 consecutive patients after ICU discharge. Baseline characteristics and clinical data were recorded, and HRQoL was assessed using the EuroQoL-5D instrument, applied 6 months after ICU discharge. A specific question regarding the improvement in the quality of life after the surgical intervention was added to the HRQoL questionnaire. Risk factors related to impaired quality of life were identified using univariate comparisons and multivariate regression techniques. Results: The median (interquartile range, IQR) of transfused red blood cells was 3 (1–4). Among 205 patients, 178 were studied 6 months after discharge. Impairment in at least one dimension of the EuroQoL-5D questionnaire was observed in 120 patients, with an overall score of 0.8 (IQR 0.61–1). The number of red blood cell transfusions was related to an impaired HRQoL (OR 1.17 per additional unit, 95% confidence interval 1.03–1.36, p = 0.03), a trend to lower visual analog scale score (coefficient −0.75 per additional unit, 95% confidence interval −1.61 to 0.1, p = 0.09) and an absence of improvement in HRQoL after surgery compared to the previous status (OR 1.13, 95% confidence interval 1.03–1.25, p = 0.01). Conclusions: Liberal red blood cell transfusions increase the risk of impaired HRQoL after cardiac surgery. © 2018 Elsevier España, S.L.U. y SEMICYUC
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