The efficacy of the administration of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) in the treatment of anaemia in critically ill surgical patients refusing red cell transfusions requires further documentation. Herein, we report the outcome of 5 consecutive severely anaemic Jehovah's Witness patients (lowest haemoglobin concentration 27 g/l, who were discharged from the hospital in good condition after treatment. RHuEPO (50-280 U/kg body weight) was daily administered to 4 of the patients, who either exhibited preoperative anaemia or developed postoperative anaemia refractory to endogenous EPO probably due to inflammation. RHuEPO treatment was followed by a steep rise in reticulocytes and haemoglobin concentration. The fifth patient, who exhibited no signs of systemic inflammation following emergency hemicolectomy, was also treated with intravenous iron, but not with rHuEPO. His blood haemoglobin concentration rose from 27 g/l to 92 g/l in 3 wk. These observations indicate that the administration of rHuEPO is justified in the management of life-threatening anaemia, although only on a humanitarian basis, because there is no predictor for the possible spontaneous recovery.
|European Journal of Haematology
|Number of pages
|Published - 1997
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)