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Post-operative infection and blood transfusion

A clinical and immunological study of blood transfusion and postoperative bacterial infection in spinal surgery

Triulzi DJ, Vanek K, Ryan DH, Blumberg N

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, New York
Transfusion 1992 Jul-Aug;32(6):517-24


To examine allogeneic blood transfusion as an independent risk factor for post-operative infection.


A study of 102 patients undergoing 109 spinal fusion procedures. In 60 procedures the patients received autologous blood, in 24 procedures they received allogeneic blood and in 25 procedures they received no transfusion.


The post-operative infection rate was 20.8 % in patients receiving homologous blood, 4 % in those receiving no transfusion and only 3.3 % in patients receiving autologous blood.


There was a significantly higher post-operative infection rate in those patients receiving homologous blood compared to those receiving no blood. The infection rate was somewhat lower in patients receiving autologous than in the no blood group.