Reducing The Annual Cost Of Blood For Routine Hip And Knee Procedures

The annual cost of blood for the 55,000 knee and 60,000 hip replacements performed each year in the UK exceeds 15million, a figure which would be higher if government waiting time targets were met for these procedures.

The routine use of post-operative autologous blood transfusion devices for knee replacement procedures is now widespread, producing a typical saving of over 150 per patient. Additionally, safety is increased because of the lesser risk of infection transmission and immune reaction to bank blood.

Recent audits have been carried out which demonstrate that the use of a post-operative autologous blood collection device can be successfully extended to hip replacements. The CellTrans device has been chosen by Bristol Royal Infirmary amongst many other hospitals, as it allows for collection and reinfusion of blood lost up to 12 hours after the end of surgery. With hip replacements, blood loss may not occur until several hours after the procedure as the effect of local anaesthesia wanes and the patient starts to move more freely in bed. The CellTrans device has two collection bags, both of which are pre-attached in theatre, allowing for reinfusion of the first bag of blood to commence within 6 hours of initiation of collection, and then a further 6 hours for the second collection bag. The savings that can therefore be achieved within the orthopaedics department are greatly increased if post-operative autologous blood transfusion devices are used on both total hip and total knee procedures.