Papers And Originals

Anaemia and Surgery

Br Med J 1970; 3 doi: (Published 11 July 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;3:71
  1. J. N. Lunn,
  2. P. C. Elwood


    In 1,584 patients who had received an anaesthetic the association was examined between circulating haemoglobin level and the postoperative course (length of hospital stay, the occurrence of a complication, and death). In men a significant association (P<0·05) was found for each index, but in women this was present only for death.

    It is suggested that the hypothesis which best explains the associations, and is consistent with further analyses of the data, is that the preoperative haemoglobin level reflects the severity of the underlying condition which has necessitated surgery. A randomized clinical trial would test the alternative hypothesis that anaemia constitutes an additional risk in surgical procedures.