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The purpose of this study is to determine how red blood cell transfusions, particularly the length of storage time of units of packed red blood cells, affects the cardiovascular function in patients receiving transfusions. This study will also determine the most ideal way of storing and processing blood, and assess how transfusion affects a person's ability to exercise and how their blood vessels relax and contract.
Spinal surgery may be associated with substantial blood loss which often requires erythrocyte transfusion. Transfusion of red blood cells (RBC) is not free of adverse events and has been associated with increased risks of infection, and globally higher morbidity and mortality. Different techniques have been used to reduce perioperative blood losses and related transfusions. Tranexamic acid has been used successfully in cardiac and hepatic surgery. However, only a few studies have reported on the use of antifibrinolytic drugs in spinal surgery. This study was designed to assess the efficacy and safety of tranexamic acid in spinal surgery for the reduction of RBC transfusion. Hypothesis: the infusion of tranexamic acid during spinal surgery will reduce the risk of receiving a RBC transfusion and, in those patients transfused, reduce the number of blood products administered.