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Title: The prevalence of perioperative iron deficiency anaemia in women undergoing caesarean section-a retrospective cohort study.
Austin Authors: Dennis, Alicia T;Ferguson, Marissa;Jackson, Sarah
Affiliation: Barwon Health, Ryrie Street, Geelong, Victoria, 3220, Australia..
Repatriation Medical Centre, 145 Studley Rd., Heidelberg, Victoria, 3084, Australia..
Department of Critical Care, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia..
Monash University, Melbourne, Australia..
The Royal Women's Hospital, Locked Bag 300, Corner Grattan St. & Flemington Rd., Parkville, Victoria, 3052, Australia..
School of Medicine, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia..
Departments of Critical Care, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and Pharmacology Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia..
Austin Health
Issue Date: 4-Aug-2022
Date: 2022
Publication information: Perioperative medicine (London, England) 2022; 11(1): 36
Abstract: Caesarean section is a common surgery, with almost 23 million procedures performed globally each year. Postpartum haemorrhage, in association with caesarean section surgery, is a leading global cause of maternal morbidity and mortality. Perioperative iron deficiency anaemia is a risk factor for intraoperative bleeding. Therefore, anaemia is an important and modifiable risk factor for bleeding during caesarean section surgery. Recent recommendations advise that all preoperative patients with anaemia (defined as haemoglobin concentration (Hb) < 130 g/L), regardless of sex, be assessed and treated to normalise haemoglobin levels. It is unclear how this recommendation translates to pregnant women where the World Health Organization (WHO) defines anaemia at a much lower threshold (Hb < 110 g/L). We aimed to determine the prevalence, and characterization, of Hb levels < 130 g/L perioperatively in women undergoing caesarean section. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 489 consecutive women who underwent caesarean section over a 12-week period, in a single-centre tertiary referral maternity unit in Australia. We calculated the proportion of women who were anaemic (Hb < 130 g/L) at four time points-first hospital appointment, third trimester, preoperatively and on discharge from hospital. The proportion of women who were iron deficient (ferritin level < 30 μg/L) at their first hospital appointment was determined. Haemoglobin was measured in 479 women. Ferritin was measured in 437 of these women. The mean (SD) Hb at the first hospital appointment, third trimester, preoperatively, and postoperatively on discharge was 126.7 (11.4) g/L, 114.6 (10.6) g/L, 124.1 (12.4) g/L, and 108.0 (13.6) g/L respectively. Iron deficiency was present in 148 (33.9%) women at their first hospital appointment; 107 of 248 (43.1%) women with anaemia and 41 of 189 (21.7%) with no anaemia. 29 women were found to have moderate anaemia (Hb 80-109 g/L) with 18 of these 29 (62.1%) women having iron deficiency. Only 68 (45.9%) women with iron deficiency at their first hospital appointment received treatment. The prevalence of anaemia classified as Hb < 130 g/L versus the WHO classification of Hb < 110 g/L from all causes was 57.4% versus 6.1% at first hospital appointment, 94% versus 26.1% in third trimester, and 66.0% versus 12.2% preoperatively. Postoperatively at least 40% of women had Hb < 130 g/L on hospital discharge versus at least 23% of women using WHO definition of Hb < 110 g/L. Of the 112 women with hospital discharge Hb < 110 g/L, 35 (31.3%) women were iron deficient at their first hospital appointment. Over one in three women were iron deficient at their first hospital appointment. 62% of women with moderate anaemia (Hb 80-109 g/L) also had iron deficiency. At least four in 10 women were anaemic (Hb < 130 g/L) on hospital discharge. Less than half of the women with anaemia were treated. Our data suggests that 30% of postoperative anaemia may be prevented with intensive treatment of iron deficiency in early pregnancy. Large prospective studies, are needed to determine outcomes after caesarean section in women, stratified by preoperative Hb and ferritin levels. The prevalence of anaemia in our data suggests it is a moderate public health problem.
DOI: 10.1186/s13741-022-00268-x
Journal: Perioperative medicine (London, England)
PubMed URL: 35922876
PubMed URL:
ISSN: 2047-0525
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Anaemia
Caesarean section
Iron deficiency
Maternal morbidity and mortality
Neonatal morbidity and mortality, Haemoglobin
Perioperative medicine
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