Clinical, economical and safety impact of ferric carboxymaltose use in Patient Blood Management programme in Portuguese National Health Service hospitals

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Ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) can be used in Patient Blood Management (PBM) to promote the optimization of preoperative haemoglobin (Hb), which aims to minimise the use of allogeneic blood components and improve clinical outcomes, with better cost-effectiveness. This was an observational study conducted in a retrospective and multicentre cohort with adults from elective orthopaedic, cardiac and colorectal surgeries, treated according to local standards of PBM with allogeneic blood product transfusions (ABTs) on demand and with FCM to correct iron deficiency with or without anaemia. In this work, only the first pillar of the PBM model issue by Directorate-General for Health (DGS) was evaluated, which involves optimising Hb in the preoperative period with iron treatment if it’s necessary/indicated. Before the implementation of PBM in Portugal, most patients did not undergo preoperative laboratory evaluation with blood count and iron kinetics. Therefore, the existence of Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA) or Iron Deficiency (ID) without anaemia was not early detected, and there was no possibility of treating these patients with iron in order to optimise their Hb and/or iron stores. Those patients ended up being treated with ABTs on demand. A total of 405 patients from seven hospitals were included; 108 (26.7%) underwent FCM preoperatively and 197 (48.6%) were transfused with ABTs on demand. In the FCM preoperative cohort, there was an increase in patients with normal preoperative Hb, from 14.4 to 45.7%, before and after FCM, respectively, a decrease from 31.7 to 9.6% in moderate anaemia and no cases of severe anaemia after FCM administration, while 7.7% of patients were severely anaemic before FCM treatment. There were significant differences (p < 0.001) before and after correction of preoperative anaemia and/or iron deficiency with FCM in Hb, serum ferritin and transferrin saturation rate (TS). In the ABT group, there were significant differences between pre- and postoperative Hb levels (p < 0.001). Hb values tended to decrease, with 44.1% of patients moving from mild anaemia before transfusion to moderate anaemia in the postoperative period. Concerning the length of hospital stay, the group administered with ABTs had a longer hospital stay (p < 0.001). Regarding the clinical outcomes of nosocomial infection and mortality, there was no evidence that the rate of infection or mortality differed in each group (p = 0.075 and p = 0.243, respectively). However, there were fewer nosocomial infections in the FCM group (11.9% versus 21.2%) and mortality was higher in the transfusion group (21.2% versus 4.2%). Economic analysis showed that FCM could reduce allogenic blood products consumption and the associated costs. The economic impact of using FCM was around 19%. The preoperative Hb value improved when FMC was used. Patients who received ABTs appeared to have a longer hospital stay. The FCM group reported fewer infections during hospitalisation. The economic results showed savings of around €1000 for each patient with FCM administration. The use of FCM as part of the PBM program had a positive impact on patients’ outcomes and on economic results. However, it will be essential to perform studies with a larger sample to obtain more robust and specific results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19335
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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