Risk factors for bleeding in pediatric post-cardiotomy patients requiring ECLS

Nardell, Kathryn; Annich, Gail M.; Hirsch, Jennifer C.; Fahrner, Cathe; Brownlee, Pat; King, Karen; Fleming, Geoffrey M.; Gajarski, Robert J.
May 2009
Perfusion;May2009, Vol. 24 Issue 3, p191
Academic Journal
Background/Objective: There is limited literature documenting bleeding patterns in pediatric post-cardiotomy patients on extracorporeal life support (ECLS). This retrospective review details bleeding complications and identifies risk factors for bleeding in these patients. Methods: Records from 145 patients were reviewed. Patients were divided into excessive (E) and non-excessive (NE) bleeding groups based on blood loss. Results: Excessive bleeding occurred predominantly from 0-6h. Longer CPB duration (NE=174±8min; E=212±16; p=0.02) and lower platelet counts (NE=104.8±50K; E=84.3±41K; p=0.01) were associated with excessive bleeding during the first 6h (p=0.005). Use of intraoperative protamine with normal platelets was associated with decreased bleeding from 7-12h post-ECLS (p=0.002). Most mediastinal exploration occurred >49h post-ECLS, with decreased bleeding post-exploration in E patients. Conclusions: The majority of pediatric post-cardiotomy ECLS bleeding occurs early after support initiation. Longer CPB time and thrombocytopenia increased bleeding 0-6h post-ECLS. Since early bleeding may be coagulopathic in origin, an approach to minimize bleeding includes protamine administration and aggressive blood product replacement with target platelet counts of 100-120K. Surgical exploration should follow if additional hemostasis is necessary.


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