BACKGROUND: Moderate to severe intraoperative bleeding and the presence of acquired coagulopathy remain serious problems in the management of major pediatric craniosynostosis surgery. After implementation of a ROTEM(®) -assisted patient blood management (PBM) strategy, using primarily purified coagulation factor concentrates, feasibility and costs of this new regimen were analyzed.
METHODS: Retrospective analysis of all consecutive children who underwent primary elective major craniofacial surgery for craniosynostosis repair was carried out at the Children's University Hospital, Zurich, between 2007 and 2013. Laboratory workup and transfusion requirements were compared.
RESULTS: A total of 47 children (36 in the historic group and 11 after implementation of PBM) were analyzed. Although all patients in this study needed transfusion of red blood cell concentrates, there was a total avoidance of perioperative transfusion of fresh frozen plasma and a reduction in transfused platelets (one of nine children vs nine of 36 children in the historic group) after implementation of the PBM strategy. Based on a predefined ROTEM(®) threshold in the PBM group (FibTEM MCF <8 mm), administration of fibrinogen concentrate was necessary in all of these children. The mean total costs per patient consisting of transfused allogeneic blood products and coagulation factor concentrates were reduced by 17.1% after implementation of PBM (1071.82 EUR per patient before vs 888.93 EUR after implementation).
CONCLUSIONS: The implementation of a ROTEM(®) -assisted PBM is feasible and is associated with a considerable reduction in intraoperative transfusion requirements and thereby a decrease in transfusion-related direct costs.