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Citation Information : Immunohematology. Volume 12, Issue 2, Pages 87-89, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/immunohematology-2019-753
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Published Online: 10-November-2020
Although recognized as a serious complication of hemotherapy, few data are available on the incidence of transfusion-associated circulatory overload (TACO). Detailed demographic and clinical information was obtained from records of 382 Medicare patients undergoing total hip or knee replacements (and receiving transfusions) from January 1992 to December 1993 at five Massachusetts hospitals. Seventy-eight percent of the patients were women with a mean age of 77 years. Thirty-two percent had co-morbidities including myocardial or coronary disease. Transfusion-related complications and comorbidities were identified and reviewed by transfusion experts. Patients were excluded from consideration if non-transfusion factors such as myocardial disease could have contributed to the development of acute pulmonary edema. Four (3 females, 1 male) patients (1.05%) developed TACO postoperatively. Mean age of these patients was 84 years (range, 75–101) versus 77 years for non-TACO. The mean intraoperative estimated blood loss was 375 mL. Each patient received only 1–2 units of red blood cells prior to onset of TACO, and in two cases only autologous blood was used. The mean positive fluid balance was 2,480 mL. The mean pretransfusion hematocrit prior to circulatory overload (CO) was 26.0 percent. Symptoms were reversed with diuretics. Length of stay was significantly prolonged by these incidents. TACO is a frequent and serious event in an orthopedic surgical setting. It is associated with advanced age, increased health care costs, and may occur in the setting of modest transfusion volumes. The utilization of conservative transfusion criteria and fluid management in the perioperative setting may decrease the incidence of this complication in this population.