The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 32, Issue 6, 1902 - 1909

Quantifying Blood Loss and Transfusion Risk After Primary vs Conversion Total Hip Arthroplasty

Newman, Jared M. et al.


Primary total hip arthroplasty (THA) and conversion THA may result in substantial blood loss, sometimes necessitating transfusion. Despite the complexities of the latter, both are grouped in the same category for quality assessment and reimbursement. This study’s purpose was to compare both blood loss and transfusion risk in primary and conversion THA and identify their associated predictors.


A total of 1616 patients who underwent primary and conversion THA at a single hospital from 2009-2013 were reviewed (primary THA = 1575; conversion THA = 41). Demographics, comorbidities, and perioperative data were collected from electronic records. Blood loss was calculated using a validated method. Transfusion triggers were based on standardized criteria. Separate multivariable regression models for blood loss and transfusion were performed.


Conversion THA patients were younger (P = .002), had lower age-adjusted Charlson scores (P = .006), longer surgeries (P < .001), higher blood loss (P < .001), and more transfusions (P < .001). Primary and conversion THA groups were different in terms of surgical approach (P < .001), anesthesia type (P = .002), and venous thromboembolism prophylaxis (P = .01). Compared to primary THA, conversion THA had an average 478.9 mL higher blood loss (P = .003) and increased adjusted odds ratio of 3.2 (P = .019) for transfusion.


Conversion THA leads to higher blood loss and transfusion compared with primary THA. These differences were quantified in the present study and showed consistent results between the 2 metrics. The differences between these procedures should be addressed during quality assurance because conversion THA is associated with higher resource utilization, which is important in the allocation of resources and tiered reimbursement strategies.

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