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, reported the