Inadequate blood evacuation as a result of blocked chest tubes can lead to Retained Blood Syndrome (RBS) – the composite of drainage-related post-cardiothoracic surgery complications that are detrimental to patient outcomes and may require reinterventions hours, days and even months after the original procedure.
A recent retrospective study analyzed the ICD-9 billing codes for a total of 40 million inpatient procedures in the US. Researchers identified a total of 313,766 adult cardiac inpatient procedures and IDC-9 codes suggesting that 53,018 (or 17%) of those patients had suffered one or more reinterventions due to Retained Blood Syndrome (RBS) complications. See if you recognize some of these RBS complications in your patients.
ICD-9 procedures and diagnoses that indicate Retained Blood Syndrome (RBS) after heart surgery
Retained Blood Syndrome (RBS) causes multiple mechanical and inflammatory complications that may lead to additional reinterventions and readmissions. Studies show that 20% of cardiothoracic surgery patients are readmitted within 30 days of their procedure. Of those patients, 21% present with pleural or pericardial effusions and 17% develop postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF).9
A recently completed retrospective analysis at Klinikum Nürnberg Heart Center in Germany looked at various outcome parameters for patients suffering from Retained Blood Syndrome (RBS) and those without RBS. The table below clearly illustrates the significant clinical burden RBS puts on both patients and hospitals.16
Heart Center in Nürnberg
RBS in the literature
A growing body of clinical evidence demonstrates the impact of Retained Blood Syndrome (RBS) on patient outcomes. Download the PDFs below to review in more detail.