Anaemia requiring red blood cell transfusion is associated with unfavourable 90-day survival in surgical patients with sepsis

  • Objective: The mortality associated with sepsis remains unacceptably high, despite modern high-quality intensive care. Based on the results from previous studies, anaemia and its management in patients with sepsis appear to impact outcomes; however, the transfusion policy is still being debated, and the ideal approach may be extremely specific to the individual. This study aimed to investigate the long-term impact of anaemia requiring red blood cell (RBC) transfusion on mortality and disease severity in patients with sepsis. We studied a general surgical intensive care unit (ICU) population, excluding cardiac surgery patients. 435 patients were enrolled in this observational study between 2012 and 2016. Results: Patients who received RBC transfusion between 28 days before and 28 days after the development of sepsis (n = 302) exhibited a significantly higher 90-day mortality rate (34.1% vs 19.6%; P = 0.004, Kaplan–Meier analysis). This association remained significant after adjusting for confounders in the multivariate Cox regression analysis (hazard ratio 1.68; 95% confidence interval 1.03–2.73; P = 0.035). Patients who received transfusions also showed significantly higher morbidity scores, such as SOFA scores, and ICU lengths of stay compared to patients without transfusions (n = 133). Our results indicate that anaemia and RBC transfusion are associated with unfavourable outcomes in patients with sepsis.

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Author:Katalin Kristof, Benedikt Büttner, Anna Grimm, Caspar Mewes, Bastian SchmackGND, Aron-Frederik Popov, Michael Ghadimi, Tim Beißbarth, José-Maria Hinz, Ingo Bergmann, Ashham Mansur
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):BMC Research Notes
Publisher:Biomed Central
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2018
Date of first Publication:2018/12/11
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/04/25
Tag:Morbidity; Mortality; Organ dysfunction; Organ support; Red blood cell transfusion; Sepsis; Surgical ICU; Survival
Issue:1, Art. 879
Page Number:7
First Page:1
Last Page:7
Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0