J Med Assoc Thai 2019; 102 (2):136-9

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Effect of Closed Suction Drainage Tube Length after Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Double-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial
Piyakunmala K Mail, Sangkomkamhang T

Objective: To evaluate the effect of the length of closed suction drainage tubes on the quantity of postoperative blood loss.

Materials and Methods: A double-blind, randomized controlled trial study was conducted on 140 primary total knee arthroplasty patients between August 2012 and January 2015. Half the patients received a 3-centimeter (14 side hole) drainage tube and half a 7-centimeter (32 side hole) tube. Blood loss was measured postoperatively at 8, 16, 24, 48, and 72 hours. Hematocrit levels, red blood cell transfusion, and any drainage-related complications were also recorded.

Results: Mean postoperative blood loss was significantly lower in the group with a 3-centimeter drain than in the group with a 7-centimeter drain at 8-hour (109±125.26 ml versus 173±149.80 ml, p=0.02) and at 16-hour (255.40±139.35 ml versus 328.80±164.20 ml, p=0.02). Red blood cell transfusion was also significantly lower at 48 hours in the 3-centimeter drain group than the 7-centimeter drain group (0.20±0.40 units versus 0.46±0.54 units, p=0.01).

Conclusion: A 3-centimeter (14 side hole) drainage tube following total knee arthroplasty results in less blood loss and reduced red blood cell transfusion compared to a 7-centimeter (32 side hole) drainage tube.

Keywords: Total knee arthroplasty, Postoperative blood loss, Close suction drainage, Drainage tube length

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