Variation in intraoperative and postoperative red blood cell transfusion in pediatric surgery

Anne M. Stey, Charles D. Vinocur, R. Lawrence Moss, Bruce L. Hall, Mark E. Cohen, Kari Kraemer, Clifford Y. Ko, Brian D. Kenney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND Intraoperative and postoperative red blood cell (RBC) transfusions are relatively frequent events tracked in the American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program-Pediatric (ACS-NSQIP-P). This study sought to quantify variation in RBC transfusion practices among hospitals. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS This is an observational study of children older than 28 days who underwent a general, neurologic, urologic, otolaryngologic, plastic, or orthopedic operation at 50 hospitals in participating in the ACS-NSQIP-P during 2011 to 2012. The primary outcome was whether or not a RBC transfusion was administered from incision time to 72 hours postoperatively. Transfusions of fresh-frozen plasma, cryoprecipitate, and platelets were excluded from data abstraction due the rarity of their administration. A multivariate hierarchical risk-adjustment model estimated the risk-adjusted hospital RBC transfusion odds ratio (OR) and designated hospitals by transfusion practice. RESULTS The mean RBC transfusion rate was 1.5%. Five preoperative variables were associated with greater than threefold increased odds of having an intraoperative or postoperative RBC transfusion; young age; 29 days to 1 year (OR, 5.9; p < 0.001) and 1 to 2 years (OR, 3.4; p < 0.001); American Society of Anesthesiologists Class IV (OR, 3.2; p < 0.001); procedure linear risk (OR, 3.1; p < 0.001); preoperative septic shock (OR, 14.5; p < 0.001); and preoperative cardiopulmonary resuscitation (OR, 8.1; p < 0.001). Twenty-five hospitals had RBC transfusion practices significantly different than risk-adjusted mean (17 higher and eight lower). CONCLUSION Intraoperative and postoperative RBC transfusion practices vary widely among hospitals after controlling for patient and procedural characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-672
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


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