Treating anaemia before heart surgery reduces transfusions

'Short-term' intervention produces higher haemoglobin concentration a week after surgery, say researchers

An intensive burst of treatment for anaemia or iron deficiency the day before cardiac surgery reduces perioperative blood transfusions, a single-centre study suggests.

Blood transfusion

The prospective, randomised controlled trial assessed the “ultra short-term” intervention among 484 patients (mean age 68) scheduled for isolated coronary artery bypass grafting and/or valve surgery.

Half of the cohort received the combination treatment, comprising intravenous iron, subcutaneous erythropoietin (EPO) alpha, vitamin B12 and oral folic acid, while the remainder were given placebos,