Feasibility and acceptability of continuous postoperative pericardial flushing for blood loss reduction in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting

Kara H., Erden T.

GENERAL THORACIC AND CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY, vol.68, no.3, pp.219-226, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Introduction Postoperative bleeding requires blood transfusion and surgical re-exploration that can affect the short- and long-term postoperative outcomes. Interventions that can be used in the postoperative period to reduce blood loss should be developed. Continuous postoperative pericardial flushing (CPPF) with an irrigation solution may reduce blood loss by preventing the accumulation of clots. This study examined the feasibility and acceptability of CPPF for reducing bleeding after coronary artery bypass surgery. Methods This pilot study adopted a prospective and group comparison design. Between January and April 2018, 42 patients who underwent isolated coronary artery bypass surgery received CPPF from sternal closure up to 8 h postoperative. The mean actual blood loss in the CPPF group was compared to the mean of retrospectively group (n = 58). In the CPPF group, an extra infusion catheter was inserted through one of the tube incision holes and an irrigation solution (0.9% NaCl at 38 degrees C) was delivered to the pericardial cavity by using a volumetric pump. Safety aspects, feasibility issues, and complications were documented. The primary outcome was blood loss, and it was assessed 18 h after the surgery. Results CPPF was successfully completed in 40 patients (95.24%). Method-related complications were not observed. Feasibility was good in this experimental setting. Blood loss was lower in the CPPF group (257.24 mL) than non-CPPF group (p < 0.001). Conclusions CPPF after coronary artery bypass grafting surgery is safe, effective, feasible, and acceptable. However, standardized randomized clinical trials are necessary to draw definitive conclusions.