Anaemia in the older surgical patient: A review of prevalence, causes, implications and management

Judith Partridge*, Danielle Harari, Jessica Gossage, Jugdeep Dhesi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


This review provides the clinician with a summary of the causes, implications and potential treatments for the management of anaemia in the older surgical patient. The prevalence of anaemia increases with age and is frequently identified in older surgical patients. Anaemia is associated with increased postoperative morbidity and mortality. Allogenic blood transfusion is commonly used to treat anaemia but involves inherent risks and may worsen outcomes. Various strategies for the correction of preand postoperative anaemia have evolved. These include correction of nutritional deficiencies and the use of intravenous iron and erythropoesis stimulating therapy. Clear differences exist between the elective and emergency surgical populations and the translation of research findings into these individual clinical settings requires more work. This should lead to a standardized approach to the management of this frequently encountered clinical scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-277
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Royal Society of Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


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