Study demonstrates concern for retained blood syndrome after heart surgery


Cardiac anaesthesia investigators from Germany presented data at the International Anesthesia Research Society’s (IARS) 2015 Annual Meeting and International Science Symposium (21–24 March, Honolulu, USA).

Critical care specialists from Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin’s Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine presented clinical data from 6,909 patients. Results from the data revealed that more than 16% of the patients studied required surgical reinterventions to deal with complications related to retained blood syndrome. Patients who required reinterventions were reported to have a statistically significant increase in mortality, longer ICU and hospital stays as well as higher incidence of haemodialysis and longer ventilator time, complicating their post-operative recovery.

“Chest drainage tubes are routinely used to prevent retained blood in patients during early recovery after heart surgery. Complete occlusion is known to occur in 36% of chest tubes, and nearly one in five cardiac surgery patients have some form of retained blood syndrome that includes the need to perform subsequent re-operation or interventions to remove blood, blood clot or bloody fluid from around the heart and lungs during recovery,” said Ed Boyle, founder and chairman of ClearFlow. ClearFlow is the manufacturer of the PleuraFlow active clearance technology system, which enables caregivers to keep chest drainage tubes clear of blood clots and minimise the occurrence of retained blood syndrome after heart surgery.

“This study underscores a clear unmet clinical need for patients recovering from cardiac surgery. It further suggests that preventing retained blood in the chest could translate to better patient outcomes,” added ClearFlow’s chief executive officer, Paul Molloy.

The PleuraFlow active clearance technology system is approved for use in the USA, Europe, Australia, Brazil, Canada, and other countries in Asia and the Middle East.