Patient blood management in cardiac surgery: The "Granducato algorithm"

Int J Cardiol. 2019 Aug 15;289:37-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2019.01.025. Epub 2019 Jan 11.


Background: Patients undergoing cardiac surgery are subject to severe alterations of the coagulation system. The four cardiac surgery centers in Tuscany (Italy) structured and shared an algorithm (Granducato Patient Blood Management algorithm, G-PBMa) with predefined interventions for patient blood management. The aim of the study is to analyze the impact of that algorithm on the transfusion needs and bleeding-related outcomes in a large patient population.

Methods: Multicenter retrospective observational study on 3839 patients undergoing cardiac surgery at the four cardiac centers in Tuscany. The G-PBMa was released at the end of 2015 and it was structured in three parts: pre-, intra-, and post-operative. The year 2014, before the G-PBMa (1955 patients) and the year 2016 (1884 patients) after the G-PBMa in place were compared. Logistic regression analyses were used.

Results: The main changes introduced were the routine application of viscoelastic tests in bleeding patients (+72%) and the use of fibrinogen and prothrombin complex concentrate (+67%). The G-PBMa resulted in a significant reduction in the overall transfusion rate and in the transfusion rate of the separate blood products (relative risk for transfusions: 0.75, 95% confidence interval 0.65-0.85, P = 0.001). For preoperative hemoglobin values of between 8 and 10 g/dL, the absolute difference in RBC transfusion rate before and after the G-PBMa introduction ranged around 15%-17%. The G-PBMa introduction determined lower (P = 0.02) chest drain blood loss, lower (P = 0.001) postoperative acute kidney injury and shorter (P = 0.001) hospital stay.

Conclusions: The G-PBMa was effective in reducing blood loss, transfusion requirements, and resulted in a better outcome.

Keywords: Bleeding; Cardiac surgery; Patient blood management; Transfusion.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Algorithms*
  • Blood Loss, Surgical / prevention & control*
  • Blood Transfusion / methods*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies