Risks and predictors of blood transfusion in pediatric patients undergoing open heart operations

Ann Thorac Surg. 2009 Jan;87(1):187-97. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2008.09.079.


Background: Blood transfusion in adults is associated with increased mortality and morbidity after cardiac operations. The aim of this study was to identify the main predictors of blood transfusion and explore the relationship between blood transfusion and adverse outcomes in a pediatric population.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed a prospectively collected database (January 2002 to December 2003) of 657 consecutive pediatric patients undergoing open heart procedures in a tertiary pediatric cardiac center. Risk models were calculated for each blood product and for the total amount of blood transfused during the operation and in the first 24 hours. Postoperative adverse events were investigated after propensity score adjustment.

Results: During the postoperative period, 30 patients (4.6%) died, 80 (12.2%) sustained nonvascular pulmonary complications, and 113 (17.2%) had infection. The risk model for the total amount of blood transfusion included weight, preoperative creatinine clearance, preoperative mechanical ventilation, duration of operation and cross-clamp, surgeon, delayed chest closure, inotropic dose, and nitric oxide administration. Univariate analyses demonstrated significant associations between blood transfusion and occurrence of every complication except of neurologic events. After adjustment for propensity score and disease severity, the total amount of blood transfusion was independently associated with an increased risk for infections (odds ratio, 1.01; 95% confidence interval, 1.002 to 1.02; p = 0.01). Transfusion of platelets was associated with lower incidence of nonvascular pulmonary complications (odds ratio, 0.89; 95% confidence interval, 0.79 to 0.99; p = 0.049).

Conclusions: The amount of blood transfusion is independently associated with infections but not with mortality.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Transfusion / methods
  • Blood Transfusion / mortality
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / mortality*
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass / methods
  • Cause of Death*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Erythrocyte Transfusion / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnosis
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / mortality*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery
  • Hospital Mortality / trends*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Platelet Transfusion / adverse effects
  • Pneumonia / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia / mortality
  • Postoperative Care / adverse effects
  • Postoperative Care / methods
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Transfusion Reaction*
  • Transplantation, Autologous