Bloodless cardiac surgery refers to open-heart surgery without blood or blood products. The cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) circuits are primed with crystalloid solely, and there is no intraoperative blood transfusion.
Our program considers bloodless congenital cardiac surgery with a minimal invasive extracorporeal circulation (MiECC) system for patients above 10 kg of weight. We performed a single-center retrospective cohort study of all consecutive patients undergoing bloodless cardiac surgery for congenital heart defects between January 2016 and December 2018.
A total of 164 patients were reviewed (86 male and 78 female) at a median age of 9.6 years (interquartile range (IQR), 4.5–15), a weight of 32 kg (IQR, 16–55), preoperative hemoglobin 13.7 g/dl (IQR, 12.6–14.9), and preoperative hematocrit of 40.4% (IQR, 37.2–44.3). Median CPB time was 81.5 min (IQR, 58–125), and median hematocrit coming off CPB was 26% (IQR, 23–29.7). The congenital heart surgery risk (STAT) category was distributed in STAT 1 for 70, STAT 2 for 80, STAT 3 for 9, and STAT 4 for 5 patients. Most patients (95%) were extubated in the operating room with a low complication rate during the hospital stay (14.6%). Only 6 (4%) patients needed a blood transfusion during the postoperative period, with a higher incidence of complications during the hospital course (p < 0.001).
Bloodless congenital heart surgery with MiECC system is safe in low-surgical-risk patients. Our patients had a low rate of complications and short hospital stays.