INTRODUCTION: This study evaluated allogenic packed red blood cell (aPRBC) transfusion rates in patients undergoing resection for gastric cancer and the implementation of blood-saving protocols (BSP).
METHODS: Retrospective study of all gastric cancer patients operated on with curative intent in Catalonia and Navarra (2011-2013) and included in the Spanish subset of the EURECCA Oesophago-Gastric Cancer Registry. Hospitals with BSP were defined as those with a preoperative haemoglobin (Hb) optimisation circuit associated with restrictive transfusion strategies. Predictors of aPRBC transfusion were identified by multinomial logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: A total of 652 patients were included, 274 (42.0%) of which received aPRBC transfusion. Six of the 19 participating hospitals had BSP and treated 145 (22.2%) patients. Low Hb level at diagnosis (10 vs 12.4g/dL), ASA score III/IV, pT3-4, open surgery, associated visceral resection, and having being operated on in a hospital without BSP were predictors of aPRBC transfusion, while low Hb level, associated visceral resection, and non-BSP hospital remained predictors in the multivariate analysis. In case of comparable risk factors for aPRBC transfusion, there was a higher use of preoperative intravenous iron treatment (26.2% vs 13.2%) and a lower percentage of transfusions (31.7% vs 45%) in hospitals with BSP.
CONCLUSIONS: The perioperative transfusion rate in gastric cancer was 42%. Hospitals with BSP showed a significant reduction of blood transfusions but treated only 22% of patients. Main predictors of aPRBC were low Hb level, associated visceral resection, and undergoing surgery at a hospital without BSP.