Blood transfusion and risk of infection in frail elderly after hip fracture surgery: the TRIFE randomized controlled trial

  • Merete Gregersen
  • Else Marie Damsgaard
  • Lars Carl Borris
Original Article • HIP - FRACTURES

Abstract

Objectives

It is still under debate that red blood cell (RBC) transfusions might increase the risk of healthcare-associated infections after hip fracture surgery. Previously, we found that a liberal RBC transfusion strategy improved survival in nursing home residents. Our aim, therefore, was to investigate whether a more liberal RBC transfusion strategy was associated with a higher infection risk in frail elderly hip fracture patients.

Design

Prospective, assessor-blinded, randomized and controlled trial.

Settings

Orthopedic ward, Geriatric ward, and Hospital-at-home.

Patients

284 consecutively hospital-admitted elderly with hip fracture from nursing homes or sheltered housing facilities were included.

Intervention

A restrictive RBC transfusion strategy (hemoglobin <9.7 g/dL; 6 mmol/L) compared with a liberal strategy (hemoglobin <11.3 g/dL; 7 mmol/L) administered within 30 days after surgery.

Main outcome measurements

Leukocytes and C-reactive protein (CRP) in repeated blood samples within 30 days, and number of all infections (pneumonia, urinary tract infection, and other infections) within 10 days.

Results

88 % of the patients received a RBC transfusion. A median of 1 RBC unit (interquartile range (IQR): 1–2) was transfused for the restrictive strategy group versus 3 RBC units (IQR: 2–5) for the liberal group. Leukocytes and CRP measurements were similar for both groups. Rates of infection were 72 % for the restrictive group compared to 66 % for the liberal group (risk ratio 1.08; 95 % confidence interval 0.93–1.27, p value 0.29).

Conclusions

A more liberal RBC transfusion strategy was not associated with higher risk of infection among residents from nursing homes or sheltered housing undergoing hip fracture surgery.

Keywords

Infection Hip fracture Frail elderly Blood transfusion 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Merete Gregersen
    • 1
  • Else Marie Damsgaard
    • 1
  • Lars Carl Borris
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeriatricsAarhus University HospitalÅrhus CDenmark
  2. 2.Department of OrthopaedicsAarhus University HospitalÅrhus CDenmark

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