The administration of blood products during pediatric cardiac surgery is common. We sought to determine if thromboelastography (TEG) is a cost-effective tool to reduce blood product transfusion in open pediatric cardiac surgery.
Materials and methods
A retrospective case-control study was undertaken for 150 pediatric cardiac patients requiring cardiopulmonary bypass from January 2010–May 2012, in a University-affiliated pediatric hospital. Fifty sequential patients operated on when TEG was used were compared with 100 control patients before TEG availability. Groups were matched 2:1 for age and risk adjustment for congenital heart surgery score. Blood product utilization was compared between groups, as were outcomes metrics such as postoperative complications, length of stay, and hospital costs of transfusions.
Demographic variables, risk adjustment for congenital heart surgery score classifications, and cardiopulmonary bypass times were similar between groups. Red cell and plasma transfusion were comparable between groups. TEG patients saw a substantial reduction in the administration of platelet (1 versus 2.2 U; P < 0.0001) and cryoprecipitate (0.7 versus 1.7 U; P < 0.0001) transfusions. A greater than 50% reductions in hospital costs of platelet ($595 versus $1309) and cryoprecipitate ($39 versus $94) transfusions were observed in the TEG group. Mortality, length of stay, ventilator requirements, postoperative bleeding, and thrombotic events were equivalent.
Intraoperative TEG use reduced platelet and cryoprecipitate transfusions without an increase in postoperative complications. TEG is a cost-effective method to direct blood product replacement.