Safety and therapeutic effectiveness of reinfused shed blood after open heart surgery

Trevor C. Axford, Joseph A. Dearani, Gina Ragno, Hollace MacGregor, Manisha A. Patel, C. Robert Valeri, Shukri F. Khuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This prospective study was designed to determine whether use of nonwashed shed mediastinal blood exacerbated platelet and related hematologic dysfunctions after cardiopulmonary bypass, compared with the alternative use of autologous and homologous standard liquid preserved blood for volume support. Thirty-two patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass for open heart operations were randomized to receive either nonwashed shed mediastinal blood (group 1; n = 16) or liquid preserved packed red blood cells (group 2; n = 16) for transfusion therapy in the management of postoperative bleeding. Patient blood samples and bleeding times were obtained preoperatively, after cardiopulmonary bypass but before transfusions, 2 and 24 hours after transfusion, and on postoperative days 2, 3, and 7. Group 1 patients received an average of 710 ± 90 mL (range, 300 to 1,700 mL) of nonwashed shed mediastinal blood containing significantly greater (p < 0.0001) amounts of fibrin degradation products and d-dimer protein. Of the hematologic, microaggregate, and plasma protein measurements performed, only the protein C level was significantly greater in group 1 (p < 0.05) after transfusion. Patient bleeding times were not significantly different between the groups at any of the time points, and the total postoperative blood loss was not different between the groups. There was a trend toward less need for homologous transfusion m group 1 (p < 0.1). This study documents the safety and ease of using nonwashed shed mediastinal blood as a primary blood volume support after an open heart operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-622
Number of pages8
JournalThe Annals of thoracic surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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