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November 1989

Blood Use in Head and Neck Tumor Surgery: Potential for Autologous Blood

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle.; Reprint requests to Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, RL-30, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (Dr McCulloch).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989;115(11):1314-1317. doi:10.1001/archotol.1989.01860350048013

• Recent increased concern regarding the risks of homologous blood transfusion led us to examine the use of blood products for head and neck tumor surgery. Major head and neck surgical procedures at three University of Washington (Seattle)–affiliated hospitals during 1987 were reviewed. Seventy-seven patients were identified. Parameters studied included the following: tumor site and stage, prior treatment, surgical procedure, preoperative and postoperative hematocrit values, estimated blood loss, operative and postoperative blood product use, and operative time. Data were grouped by procedure. Maxillectomy/midface procedures showed the highest average estimated blood loss (1037 mL) and the highest average blood use (1.5 units), followed by composite resections (883 mL and 0.8 units) and laryngectomies (724 mL and 0.9 units). When the data were subgrouped, larynogopharyngectomy (1450 mL and 4.0 units) and composite resection with mandibular swing (1300 mL and 1.0 units) showed the highest blood loss and blood product use. In the assessable groups, previous administration of radiation did not make a significant difference in blood loss or procedure time. However, blood loss correlated well with procedure time in all groups. The great majority of patients met all requirements to function as blood donors (84%). Sixty-five percent of patients met all criteria and used less than 2 units of blood, making autologous blood a reasonable option for the majority of patients with head and neck tumors.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989;115:1314-1317)

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