To describe the management of anemia at PICU discharge by pediatric intensivists.
Self-administered, online, scenario-based survey.
PICUs in Australia/New Zealand, Europe, and North America.
Measurements and Main Results:
Respondents were asked to report their decisions regarding RBC transfusions, iron, and erythropoietin prescription to children ready to be discharged from PICU, who had been admitted for hemorrhagic shock, cardiac surgery, craniofacial surgery, and polytrauma. Clinical and biological variables were altered separately in order to assess their effect on the management of anemia. Two-hundred seventeen responses were analyzed. They reported that the mean (± sem) transfusion threshold was a hemoglobin level of 6.9 ± 0.09 g/dL after hemorrhagic shock, 7.6 ± 0.10 g/dL after cardiac surgery, 7.0 ± 0.10 g/dL after craniofacial surgery, and 7.0 ± 0.10 g/dL after polytrauma (p < 0.001). The most important increase in transfusion threshold was observed in the presence of a cyanotic heart disease (mean increase ranging from 1.80 to 2.30 g/dL when compared with baseline scenario) or left ventricular dysfunction (mean increase, 1.41–2.15 g/dL). One third of respondents stated that they would not prescribe iron at PICU discharge, regardless of the hemoglobin level or the baseline scenario. Most respondents (69.4–75.0%, depending on the scenario) did not prescribe erythropoietin.
Pediatric intensivists state that they use restrictive transfusion strategies at PICU discharge similar to those they use during the acute phase of critical illness. Supplemental iron is less frequently prescribed than RBCs, and prescription of erythropoietin is uncommon. Optimal management of post-PICU anemia is currently unknown. Further studies are required to highlight the consequences of this anemia and to determine appropriate management.