Background: Results of a previous study revealed an over-ordering of blood products for cardiac surgery and led to the creation of a new blood ordering algorithm. This follow-up study has been conducted to evaluate improvement in ordering practices.
Methods: Retrospective data were collected for 171 patients who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting or valve surgery from March 2015 to March 2016 to determine the crossmatch-to-transfusion ratio (C:tx) and potential cost savings. Results were compared with pre-algorithm values and considered statistically significant if the 95% confidence interval did not include zero.
Results: Prior to the algorithm, 100% of patients undergoing cardiac surgery were crossmatched. After instituting the algorithm, this decreased to 15%. The overall C:tx decreased from 7.97 to 2.14. Cost savings were calculated as $114.79 (coronary artery bypass grafting) and $129.05 (valve surgery) per patient.
Conclusions: The creation of a new algorithm to guide ordering practices has significantly improved the C:tx, reduced unnecessary crossmatching, and lowered costs.
Keywords: blood loss; cardiac surgery; cardiopulmonary bypass; transfusion.