It has long been known that anemia increases the risk of death and complications in patients who have cardiovascular surgery, but results of a new study show that these risks are increased in patients with anemia who undergo various types of surgery, including gynecological procedures.1
Compared with patients without anemia, the risk of death within 30 days after surgery was 42% higher among patients with anemia. In addition, patients with anemia were 35% more likely to experience cardiac, respiratory, urinary, and wound complications as well as sepsis and blood clots.
“Because even mild anemia increases the risk of postoperative morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing major non-cardiac surgery, doctors need to consider preoperative treatment of anemia when possible. Further research is needed to establish the efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness of such preoperative anemia management,” the study authors conclude.
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1. Musallam KM, Tamim HM, Richards T, et al. Preoperative anaemia and postoperative outcomes in non-cardiac surgery: a retrospective cohort study. Lancet. 2011;378:1396-1407.