This article gives the results of an observational study that used a historical cohort of patients as a control group. This of course can cause a myriad of confounding issues. The topic, however, is of interest in those institutions that offer surgical operations to people who have a haemolytic anaemia.

Many cell salvage guidelines warn against its use in patients with fragile red cells and this study highlights an increase in platelet transfusions with a similar requirement for allogeneic red cell transfusion in the two groups. Theoretically, without considering the results of this study, it could be anticipated that many of the red cells collected would haemolyse in the washing and filtration process.

The concluding remarks by the authors suggest the need for a prospective randomised controlled trial in this area.

– Dafydd Thomas