Perioperative Blood Loss

Perioperative Blood Loss: Causes and Prevention

Blood loss during surgical procedures can be a serious problem, leading to anemia, infection, organ damage, even death. Careful management and prevention of perioperative blood loss can dramatically reduce the risks associated with surgery. In this article, we'll discuss the causes of perioperative blood loss and ways to reduce it.

Causes of Perioperative Blood Loss

There are a number of potential causes of perioperative blood loss. These include:

  • Invasive procedures
  • Concomitant disease
  • Medications
  • HLA sensitization
  • Coagulopathy
  • Complications of anesthesia

The severity of blood loss will vary depending on the type of procedure and on the patient's overall health.

Preventing Perioperative Blood Loss

Fortunately, there are a number of measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of perioperative blood loss:

  • Blood transfusions should be avoided whenever possible and replaced with alternatives such as leukoreduction.
  • Antifibrinolytic drugs such as aminocaproic acid can be used to prevent the breakdown of clotted blood.
  • Antifibrinolytic drugs such as aprotinin can be used to prevent the breakdown of clotting factors.
  • The use of anticoagulants during surgery should be minimized, and drugs such as heparin must be used with caution.
  • Restrictive fluid administration can reduce the amount of blood transfused.
  • Erythropoietin can be used to increase red cell production in the blood.
  • The use of platelet sequestration to prevent the destruction of blood platelets can reduce the amount of blood lost during surgery.

The use of these and other preventive measures can help to reduce the risks associated with surgery, including perioperative blood loss.