Young children who undergo heart surgery fare better if they receive reconstituted blood rather than fresh whole blood say researchers.
Investigators say that children who received reconstituted blood -- which is made from stored red blood cells and plasma -- tended to accumulate less fluid, which leads to lower rates of inflammation.
For the study, researchers compared results for 200 infants who underwent heart surgery using the heart-lung bypass machine. About half received whole blood during the operation, and the other half received reconstituted blood. Similar results were seen for the two groups in terms of bleeding, transfusion requirements, complications and mortality rates. But the infants who received the reconstituted blood had significantly shorter stays in both the intensive care unit and the hospital, and spent less time on a respirator after the surgery.
Researchers conclude saying that their results show it could actually be worse for infants, thus researchers say abandoning this practice could help reduce hospital stays.