Reduction of blood loss with the use of a new combined intra-operative and post-operative autologous blood transfusion system compared with no drainage in primary total hip replacement

W. G. Horstmann, M. J. Swierstra, D. Ohanis, R. M. Castelein, B. J. Kollen, C. C. P. M. Verheyen


Autologous retransfusion and no-drainage are both blood-saving measures in total hip replacement (THR). A new combined intra- and post-operative autotransfusion filter system has been developed especially for primary THR, and we conducted a randomised controlled blinded study comparing this with no-drainage.

A total of 204 THR patients were randomised to autologous blood transfusion (ABT) (n = 102) or no-drainage (n = 102). In the ABT group, a mean of 488 ml (sd 252) of blood was retransfused. The mean lowest post-operative haemoglobin level during the hospital stay was higher in the autotransfusion group (10.6 g/dl (7.8 to 13.9) vs 10.2 g/dl (7.5 to 13.3); p = 0.01). The mean haemoglobin levels for the ABT and no-drainage groups were not significantly different on the first day (11.3 g/dl (7.8 to 13.9) vs 11.0 g/dl (8.1 to 13.4); p = 0.07), the second day (11.1 g/dl (8.2 to 13.8) vs 10.8 g/dl (7.5 to 13.3); p = 0.09) or the third day (10.8 g/dl (8.0 to 13.0) vs 10.6 g/dl (7.5 to 14.1); p = 0.15). The mean total peri-operative net blood loss was 1464 ml (sd 505) in the ABT group and 1654 ml (sd 553) in the no-drainage group (p = 0.01). Homologous blood transfusions were needed in four patients (3.9%) in the ABT group and nine (8.8%) in the no-drainage group (p = 0.15). No statistically significant difference in adverse events was found between the groups.

The use of a new intra- and post-operative autologous blood transfusion filter system results in less total blood loss and a smaller maximum decrease in haemoglobin levels than no-drainage following primary THR.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:616–22.


  • Although none of the authors has received or will receive benefits for personal or professional use from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article, benefits have been or will be received but will be directed solely to a research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other non-profit organisation with which one or more of the authors are associated.

    This article was primary edited by G. Scott and first-proof edited by D. Rowley.

  • Received July 18, 2012.
  • Accepted January 18, 2013.
View Full Text

Log in through your institution