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No difference in total blood loss, haemoglobin and haematocrit between continues and intermittent wound drainage after total knee arthroplasty

  • Knee
  • Published:
Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy Aims and scope

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this prospective randomized study was to compare the visible, hidden, total blood loss and postoperative haemodynamic change of 4-h clamping and nonclamping of the drain after TKA. The hypothesis in the present study was that intermittent drain clamping with injection of diluted epinephrine solution would decrease the visible, hidden blood loss and reduction of postoperative haemoglobin or haematocrit change after TKA.

Methods

From January 2010 to January 2011, 100 TKAs were performed at our hospital. In group I (50 knees), drainage was clamped for the first 4 postoperative hours with injection of diluted epinephrine solution. In group II (50 knees), drainage was not clamped without injection of diluted epinephrine solution. Two drains with an external diameter of 3.2 mm were inserted into the knee joint. We checked the amount of drainage recorded at 6, 12, 24, and 48 h postoperatively. Also, we checked the haemoglobin and haematocrit on the preoperation, first, 5th and 10th postoperative days. We analysed the transfusion rate, the possible adverse issues with clamping drainage, and the range of motion of the knee.

Results

The mean total bloody drainage was significantly less in group I than group II (560.7 ± 249.9 mL vs 978.3 ± 327.5 mL) (p < 0.001). The decrease of haemoglobin and haematocrit after surgery was not significant between the two groups (n.s.). The hidden blood loss was significantly more in group I than group II (541.1 ± 439.4 mL vs 32.1 ± 21.9 mL) (p < 0.001). So, total blood loss showed no significant difference between the two groups (1,101.8 ± 373.6 mL vs 1,010.4 ± 385.9 mL) (n.s.). The postoperative range of motion and transfusion rate between the two groups were not significant (n.s.). But immediate wound problem, such as oozing, was significantly more in group I (p < 0.001).

Conclusion

It is not necessary to perform the intermittent drain clamping with injection of the diluted epinephrine solution in TKA because there is no impact on the postoperative haemoglobin and haematocrit. If anything, the intermittent drain clamping with injection of the diluted epinephrine solution increased the hidden blood loss and immediate wound problem than nonclamping without injection of the diluted epinephrine solution.

Level of evidence

I.

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Correspondence to Jae-Heon Jeong.

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Jung, WH., Chun, CW., Lee, JH. et al. No difference in total blood loss, haemoglobin and haematocrit between continues and intermittent wound drainage after total knee arthroplasty. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 21, 2831–2836 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00167-012-2253-6

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