RBS delays recovery and negatively impacts patient outcomes

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.

RBS drives reinterventions - 17% of patients needing one or more15

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

RBS drives readmissions - 20% of patients readmitted within 30 days5

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

Case Study: Nürnberg Heart Center18

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

Historic data (2011-2012 incl. n= 1,849)

Presented at the Cardiovascular-Thoracic (CVT) Critical Care 2014 annual meeting, organized by the Foundation for the Advancement of CardioThoracic Surgical Care (FACTS-Care) in Washington, DC on October 10, 2014.

The clinical burden of RBS is clear and well documented

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.