The authors assessed the impact of preoperative anaemia (according to the WHO definition) on patient outcome within 30 days after cardiac surgery. Anaemia was frequent (24%) and significantly increased the risk of death, renal dysfunction, stroke, arrhythmias and hospital length of stay.

This paper adds to the increasing body of evidence that preoperative anaemia is not a cosmetic lab problem but a strong predictor of adverse non-cardiac and cardiac outcomes. Guidelines from the European Society of Anaesthesiology already recommend correction of anaemia (even if mild/moderate) before any major elective surgical procedure.

– Sibylle Kozek-Langenecker

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