IV Iron Postoperatively May Reduce Infections, Transfusions and Length of Hospital Stay

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Alhossain A. Khalafallah, Clinical Professor
Menzies Institute for Medical Research,
University of Tasmania, Australia
Consultant Haematologist
Launceston General Hospital

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: There are limited data regarding the effect of postoperative anemia on patient’s outcomes. The issue of postoperative anemia was noticeably to affect a large cohort of patients world-wide.

This study was aiming at comparing the new approach with a single ferric carboxymaltose infusion versus standard or routine usual care for management of postoperative anemia.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: Our study demonstrated that by integration of a pragmatic solution with single ferric carboxymaltose infusion postoperatively, that we may save significant costs for surgical procedures and at the same time improve outcomes of surgery.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: By adopting this simple approach, we were able to reduce the length of hospital stay by an average of 3 days with a reduction of rate of blood transfusion and lowering the incidence of infection as compared to standard routine approach of treating postoperative anaemia at our institution.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: As a result of this research, it is important to integrate iron studies in addition to full blood count postoperatively. As demonstrated, in the cohort of patients with low iron stores and low haemoglobin, there is a huge benefit from having a single iron carboxymaltose infusion postoperatively. Ferric carboxymaltose was well tolerated by all patients.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Probably guidelines should integrate the latest research and consider logistical factors when making recommendations for management of perioperative anemia. Other factors specific to the context can influence the algorithm for diagnosis and management of perioperative anaemia including private/public, rural/urban, regional/referral centres, primary/ tertiary health system, elective/non-elective.

This could be achieved through adopting tools for early diagnosis of postoperative iron deficiency anaemia by integration of iron studies together with full blood count in the perioperative setting. And application of a pragmatic and safe iron infusion in postoperative setting leads to improving outcomes of surgical procedures and at the same time a potential for major health- cost savings for different health systems.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.


Intravenous ferric carboxymaltose versus standard care in the management of postoperative anaemia: a prospective, open-label, randomised controlled trial
Khalafallah, Alhossain A et al.
The Lancet Haematology , Volume 3 , Issue 9 , e415 – e425

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Last Updated on September 2, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD