What's New In  |   April 2014
Perioperative Anemia: Is It Still an Innocent Bystander?
Article Information
Hematologic System / What's New In
What's New In   |   April 2014
Perioperative Anemia: Is It Still an Innocent Bystander?
ASA Monitor 04 2014, Vol.78, 50-52.
ASA Monitor 04 2014, Vol.78, 50-52.
In multiple clinical settings, anemia has been associated with increased risk for poor outcomes such as lower health-related quality of life, more frequent hospitalizations and higher mortality.1 -3  The World Health Organization defines anemia as a hemoglobin value <12 g/dL in women and <13 g/dL in men.4  These definitions of anemia are clinically relevant, as data from the Network of Ontario Transfusion Coordinators (ONTraC) has demonstrated an increased rate of transfusion at preoperative hemoglobin values below 13 g/dL5 , and other retrospective data demonstrate an increase in mortality near these thresholds.6,7  Treating anemia with red blood cell transfusions also has associated morbidity risk.8,9  Patients who are admitted to the hospital with normal hemoglobin values and subsequently developed hospital-acquired anemia have an increased risk for in-hospital mortality.10,11 Hence, anemia should not be considered an innocent bystander,12 but rather a negative exposure that contributes to increased risk for worse outcomes.
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