Blood transfusion demands in a tertiary Otolaryngology, Head and Neck
centre: A 5-year retrospective cohort study
Objectives: To analyse and report the utilisation of Red Blood Cell
(RBC) transfusion in a tertiary Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Centre.
Design: Retrospective cohort review. Setting: Large tertiary care centre
in England. Participants: All in-patients (n = 89) admitted primarily
under the care of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck service between January
2015 and December 2019 that required RBC transfusion. Main Outcome
Measures: Number of units of Red Blood Cell transfused over 5 years and
distribution across clinical indications. Cost of RBC transfusions over
the same time period. Results: Most patients receiving transfusions are
aged in their 6th and 7th decades. Epistaxis patients utilised 105 RBC
units over the 5 years with 78 % being for emergency epistaxis.
Post-operative Head & Neck Cancer surgery with reconstruction required
32 RBC units over 5 years in 12 patients. The cost incurred by the
department has fallen by over £2000 over the 5 year period. Conclusions:
Blood transfusion use has fallen over the last five years. Epistaxis and
post-operative Head and Neck cancer cases account for significant use
compared with other patient groups. Prehabilitation strategies will add
value towards mitigating future consumption of RBC.