<h4>Background</h4>Over the last years, new transfusion guidelines and pharmaceuticals have been introduced in primary and revision total hip and knee arthroplasty (P-THA, P-TKA, R-THA, R-TKA). In the US, a substantial decrease in transfusions has been observed in recent years. Little data exists on the subject in Europe. In this context we aimed to analyze: (1) Is there also a significant decrease in blood transfusion for these procedures in Germany? (2) Which patient and hospital related factors are associated with the risk of blood transfusion? (3) Is there a trend in complications, especially venous thromboembolism and stroke events that can be linked to tranexamic acid use?<h4>Hypothesis</h4>There is a significant trend in decreasing blood transfusions in hip and knee arthroplasty.<h4>Methods</h4>Using nationwide healthcare insurance data for inpatient hospital treatment, 736,061 cases treated between January 2011 and December 2017 were included (318,997 P-THAs, 43,780 R-THAs, 338,641 P-TKAs, 34,643 R-TKAs). Multivariable logistic regression was used to model the odds of transfusion as a function of the year of surgery. Adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated.<h4>Results</h4>In each cohort the odds of transfusion decreased over time (2017 vs. 2011 (reference): P-THA: OR 0.42 (95%CI: 0.39-0.45), P-TKA: OR 0.41 (95%CI: 0.37-0.46), R-THA: OR 0.52 (95%CI: 0.47-0.58), R-TKA: OR 0.53 (95%CI: 0.46-0.61). Patient-related risk factors for blood transfusion included older age, female gender, lower Body Mass Index, comorbidities such as renal failure, cardiac arrhythmia, congestive heart failure, valvular disease, coagulopathy, depression, and antithrombotic medication prior to surgery. Venous thromboembolism or stroke events did not increase over the study period.<h4>Discussion</h4>The incidence of blood transfusions in primary and revision TKA and THA decreased over the study period. This may be due to new transfusion guidelines and the introduction of novel pharmaceuticals such as tranexamic acid. A further improved patient blood management and a focus on vulnerable patient groups might lead to a further future reduction of transfusions, especially in R-THA.<h4>Level of evidence</h4>III; comparative observational study.
Orthop Traumatol Surg Res (Orthopaedics & traumatology, surgery & research : OTSR)
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