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Leukocyte reduction

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Study indicates reduced inflammatory injury during open heart surgery, a 20% decrease in length of hospital stay (6.8 days vs. 5.4 days), and significant decrease in mean patient charges ($39,000 vs. $33,000) when white blood cells are filtered out of a patient's blood during surgery. The study, conducted at the Emory University School of Medicine, by John Gott, MD, et al., stratified patients into three groups: low risk (mortality risk less than 5%), medium risk (5% to 15%), and high risk (over 15%). Patients were also enrolled into three control arms: surgery with the anti-inflammatory drug aprotinin, surgery with leukocyte reduction filters, and surgery with heparin coating the internal components of the patient's heart-lung machine. Researchers found that low risk patients (70% of the patients studied) benefited from the use of leukocyte reduction filters when the devices were used on their heart-lung machines. High risk patients (8%) benefited the most within the aprotinin arm - reducing their hospital stay from 8.2 to 7.4 days and mean patient charges from $55,000 to $49,000. No significant benefits were found for medium risk patients in any of the three arms
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