Is it safe to discharge geriatric trauma patients with anemia?

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INTRODUCTION: The consequences of discharging anemic geriatric trauma patients are not well studied. We hypothesize that anemia at discharge is associated with adverse outcomes.

METHODS: A 1-year retrospective review of patients ≥65 years was performed. Hemoglobin levels at admission (HbA), discharge (HbD) and the lowest inpatient level (HbL) were recorded. Severity of anemia was categorized as mild (Hb ≥ 10.0 g/dl), moderate (Hb < 10.0 and ≥ 8.5 g/dl) and severe (Hb < 8.5 g/dl). The study endpoint was death or unplanned readmission 60 days following discharge. Univariate and multivariable analysis were used to determine if anemia predicted the outcome. A p value of 0.05 was considered significant.

RESULTS: 550 patients were included. Moderate and severe anemia for HbA each predicted the study endpoint. Both HbD and HbL were highly correlated with HbA but did not predict the study endpoint.

CONCLUSION: The degree of discharge anemia was not predictive of 60-day mortality or unplanned admissions in geriatric trauma patients.

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