Blood management may have an impact on length of stay after total hip arthroplasty

HSS J. 2014 Jul;10(2):124-30. doi: 10.1007/s11420-014-9384-x. Epub 2014 Apr 8.


Background: The steady rise in demand for total hip arthroplasty constitutes a significant and increasing burden on health care resources. The biggest contributors to the total cost of hip replacement procedures other than the price of the implant are hospital stay and postoperative rehabilitation. Blood management is one of the most adjustable factors that can impact length of stay and cost-efficiency while improving patient safety.

Questions/purposes: The primary purpose of this retrospective study was to assess the potential impact of blood management interventions on length of hospital stay after primary unilateral total hip arthroplasty. This was achieved by first identifying which patient and surgical factors are associated with an increased risk of prolonged hospital stay. Subsequently, the significant factors were controlled for through a multivariate regression analysis to quantify the association between blood transfusions and increased hospital stay.

Methods: Retrospectively, the study included 2,104 primary total hip replacements. Eight hundred eighty-eight procedures were performed on males and 1,216 on females, with a mean age of 64 years at the time of the surgery (range 18-94 years) and BMI of 28.6 kg/m(2) (range 12-51.5 kg/m(2)). The correlation between each factor and length of stay was analyzed separately using univariate regression analysis. Those variables with p ≤ 0.05 in the univariate model were selected for inclusion in the multivariate logistic regressions. Multiple linear regression was used to analyze the effect of each significant factor and derive odds ratios with adjustment for the other variables.

Results: Multivariate Poisson regression revealed that increased length of stay was significantly correlated to patient age (p = 0.05), the use of coumadin (p = 0.02) or lovenox/heparin (p = 0.007) as opposed to aspirin for anticoagulation, and allogeneic blood transfusion (p < 0.0001). The data shows that allogeneic blood transfusion is associated with a longer hospital stay regardless of absolute drop in hemoglobin level postoperatively or at discharge or the number of units transfused (OR = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.09 to 1.28, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Transfusion of allogeneic blood is independently associated with increased hospital stay after total hip arthroplasty. Blood management modalities that can significantly reduce transfusion risk could impact length of stay as well as the total cost of hip replacement procedures.

Keywords: allogeneic blood; anemia; autologous blood transfusion; blood management; length of stay; total hip arthroplasty.