This study aimed to describe the outcome of Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) undergoing cardiac surgery at the authors’ center.
A single-center retrospective cohort study.
At a cardiovascular center with a tertiary intensive care unit (ICU) and specific experience with cardiac surgery in JWs. The institutional protocol describing all perioperative care in JWs has been applied for 21 years.
All JWs undergoing cardiac surgery in the Amphia Hospital from January 1, 2001 to January 31, 2022.
Measurements and Main Results
The study cohort comprised 329 JWs undergoing cardiac surgery. Twenty-three patients (6.8%) were treated preoperatively for anemia. The mean European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation score was 5.1 (range 0-18). Coronary artery bypass grafting (53.2%) was performed most frequently, followed by aortic valve replacement (13.4%). Mean preoperative hemoglobin levels were 14.5 g/dL (range 9.8-18.5 g/dL), dropping to 11.6 g/dL (range 6.6-15.6 g/dL) at hospital discharge. Mean blood loss was 439 ± 349 mL in the first 12 hours postsurgery. Maximum mean postoperative troponin levels were 431 ± 424 ng/L. Resternotomy and postoperative myocardial infarction occurred in 3.6% and 4.2% of patients, respectively. On average, patients had an ICU stay of 1.4 ± 1.8 days and a hospital stay of 6.8 ± 4.2 days. Hospital mortality was 0.6% and was related to cardiac failure.
This study demonstrated that cardiac surgery in JWs is safe when adhering to a strict perioperative patient blood management protocol.