Postoperative infections after oesophageal resections: the role of blood transfusions
Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy
World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2006, 4:80 doi:10.1186/1477-7819-4-80Published: 21 November 2006
Perioperative blood transfusion carries numerous potential risks concerning the transmission of infective diseases and immunodepression that can facilitate the occurrence of postoperative infectious complications. Explanation of connections between perioperative blood transfusion and postoperative septic complication worldwide is not well documented. Many studies have described a correlation between perioperative blood transfusions and postoperative infections. On the contrary, other studies indicate that factors influencing the need for blood transfusions during surgery have a greater bearing than blood transfusion per se on the occurrence of postoperative complications.
Patients and methods
A prospective study was conducted in our Department on 110 consecutive patients undergoing oesophageal resection for primary cancer, in order to evaluate the incidence of postoperative infections related to perioperative allogenic blood transfusions. For each patient we preoperatively recorded in a computerized data-base several known risk-factors for postoperative infections; in detail we registered the administration of allogenic perioperative blood transfusions (period of administration, number of packages administered).
Among the enrolled 110 patients, 53 (48%) received perioperative blood transfusions: in this group postoperative infections (overall infective complications) occurred in 27 patients. After a multivariate analysis we observed that perioperative blood transfusions significantly affected as an independent variable the development of wound infections (p = 0.02).
Blood transfusions independently affected the incidence of wound infections in patients who underwent oesophageal resection for primary cancer.