Preoperative anaemia in South African noncardiac surgery patients
Purpose: Reports of preoperative anaemia from African noncardiac surgery settings are rare. This might have implications with regard to the perioperative management of noncardiac surgery patients in these settings. We sought to report the prevalence, associated characteristics, and impact of preoperative anaemia on major postoperative complications in South African noncardiac surgery patients.
Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of data (preoperative haemoglobin and red cell morphology; preoperative clinical characteristics; and major postoperative complications) from 194 adults who underwent elective noncardiac surgery at a tertiary South African hospital. Relevant statistical analyses were performed to determine the prevalence, associated characteristics, and impact of preoperative anaemia on major postoperative complications.
Results: The prevalence of preoperative anaemia was 42.3%. HIV was associated with a higher risk of preoperative anaemia (p=0.024). A noncommunicable disease indication for surgery was associated a lower risk of preoperative anaemia (p=0.009). A crude association between preoperative anaemia and increased major postoperative complications was observed (p=0.003).
Conclusion: Preoperative anaemia is prevalent in our surgical population. HIV and a noncommunicable disease indication for surgery are associated with preoperative anaemia. The risk of major postoperative complications appears higher in patients with preoperative anaemia.