Blood transfusion requirements in cleft lip surgery
OBJECTIVE: Cleft lip surgery is a common procedure performed by surgeons worldwide. The aim of the study was to determine blood transfusion requirements and factors influencing blood transfusion in cleft lip surgery. METHODS: Transfusion rate in 100 consecutive patients who had cleft lip surgery was prospectively evaluated at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. Data collected included age and sex of patients, type of cleft defects, type of surgery done, preoperative haematocrit, duration of surgery, amount of blood loss during surgery, the number of units of blood cross-matched and those used. Cardiovascular parameters at the point of transfusion were also recorded. Each patient was made to donate a unit of homologous blood prior to surgery. RESULTS: Mean estimated blood loss during surgery was 26.5 ± 47.1 ml. Most patients (92%) lost between 2 and 50 ml of blood. Mean estimated blood loss in unilateral cleft lip surgery was not significantly differently from that of bilateral cleft lip surgery (P=0.46). Only five patients (5%) required blood transfusion. The mean blood transfused was 50.0 ± 16.9 ml. All the patients transfused had a preoperative haematocrit of <30% (23-27%). The cross-match-to-transfusion ratio for cleft surgery was 20. The transfusion index was 0.05 and overall blood-ordering quotient was 20. CONCLUSION: Cleft lip surgery is a low volume blood loss surgery. Homologous blood donation prior to cleft lip surgery in patients with preoperative haematocrit of 30% or more is not necessary. For patients with preoperative haematocrit of less than 30%, type and screen of donated blood should be adequate.