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© 2020 British Journal of Anaesthesia Background: The optimum transfusion strategy in patients with fractured neck of femur is uncertain, particularly if there is coexisting cardiovascular disease. Methods: We conducted a prospective, single-centre, randomised feasibility trial of two transfusion strategies. We randomly assigned patients undergoing surgery for fractured neck of femur to a restrictive (haemoglobin, 70–90 g L−1) or liberal (haemoglobin, 90–110 g L−1) transfusion strategy throughout their hospitalisation. Feasibility outcomes included: enrolment rate, protocol compliance, difference in haemoglobin, and blood exposure. The primary clinical outcome was myocardial injury using troponin estimations. Secondary outcomes included major adverse cardiac events, postoperative complications, duration of hospitalisation, mortality, and quality of life. Results: We enrolled 200 (22%) of 907 eligible patients, and 62 (31%) showed decreased haemoglobin (to 90 g L−1 or less) and were thus exposed to the intervention. The overall protocol compliance was 81% in the liberal group and 64% in the restrictive group. Haemoglobin concentrations were similar preoperatively and at postoperative day 1 but lower in the restrictive group on day 2 (mean difference [MD], 7.0 g L−1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6–12.4). Lowest haemoglobin within 30 days/before discharge was lower in the restrictive group (MD, 5.3 g L−1; 95% CI, 1.7–9.0). Overall, 58% of patients in the restrictive group received no transfusion compared with 4% in the liberal group (difference in proportion, 54.5%; 95% CI, 36.8–72.2). The proportion with the primary clinical outcome was 14/26 (54%, liberal) vs 24/34 (71%, restrictive), and the difference in proportion was –16.7% (95% CI, –41.3 to 7.8; P=0.18). Conclusion: A clinical trial of two transfusion strategies in hip fracture with a clinically relevant cardiac outcome is feasible. Clinical trial registration: NCT03407573.

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Journal article


British Journal of Anaesthesia

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