Canadian Journal of Surgery
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© 2014 Association médicale canadienne. Background: Hip fractures are common injuries that result in blood loss and frequently require the transfusion of blood products. We sought to identify risk factors leading to increased blood transfusion in patients presenting with hip fractures, especially those factors that are modifiable. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the cases of all patients who had fixation of their hip fractures between October 2005 and February 2010. The need for transfusion was correlated with potential risk factors, including age, sex, preoperative hemoglobin, fracture type, fixation method and more. Results: A total of 835 patients had fixation of their hip fractures during the study period; 631 met the inclusion criteria and 249 of them (39.5%) were transfused. We found an association between need for blood transfusion and female sex (p = 0.018), lower preoperative hemoglobin (p < 0.001), fracture type (p < 0.001) and fixation method (p < 0.001). Compared with femoral neck fractures, there was a 2.37 times greater risk of blood transfusion in patients with intertrochanteric fractures (p < 0.001) and a 4.03 times greater risk in those with subtrochanteric fractures (p < 0.001). Dynamic hip screw (DHS) fixation decreased the risk of transfusion by about half compared with intramedullary nail or hemiarthroplasty. We found no association with age, delay to operation (p = 0.17) or duration of surgery (p = 0.30). Conclusion: The only modifiable risk factor identified was fixation method. When considering blood transfusion requirements in isolation, we suggest a potential benefit in using a DHS for intertrochanteric and femoral neck fractures amenable to DHS fixation.