Benefits Of Preoperative Aspirin Therapy To Cardiac Surgery Patients

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All over the world, many patients after heart surgeries still experience a variety of complications, post- operatively. These complications do not only endanger the life of the patient, but also cause undue burden to the family, emotionally and financially. Studies were conducted to respond to this problem. One of these is the study initiated by the researchers at Thomas Jefferson University and UC Davis Medical Center, which appeared in the journal “Annals of Surgery”.

According to the study, aspirin therapy within 5 days of heart surgery is related to a considerable decline in the risk of major postoperative complications like renal failure, prolonged stay in the ICU, and 30-day mortality. The findings are very useful because the number of complications is still remarkably high.

Anesthesiologist and lead author Jianzhong Sun affirmed that therapies directed to decrease major complications are still few and ineffective. Furthermore, he added that these complications are much detrimental for public health and the patient’s quality of life.

The researchers made an evaluation of the effect of preoperative aspirin on major outcomes in 4, 256 adults who underwent cardiac surgery (mostly coronary artery bypass graft or valve surgery) at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital or UC Davis Medical Center from 2001 to 2009. Out of the 2,868 patients who passed the inclusion criteria, 1,923 took 81-325 mg daily of aspirin, at least once within 5 days prior to their surgery. Meanwhile, 945 were on non-aspirin therapy.

According to the outcomes, preoperative aspirin is deemed to cause the significant decrease in the risk of postoperative complications. Sun and colleagues elaborated that the discovered benefits from aspirin were parallel to their previous findings and findings from early postoperative aspirin studies. Nilas Young, US Davis Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and co-author, added that this simple intervention was proven to be effective not only as a lifesaving therapy for patients who has heart attacks, but also to those who underwent coronary operations.

Knowing that bleeding remains to be a concern with aspirin therapy, the researchers explained that risk of bleeding can be prevented by antifibrinolytic therapy (that avoids clotting factors breakdown in the blood) and low-dose aspirin. Though benefits from preoperative aspirin have been observed, the researchers still believed that further in-depth studies are necessary to study the potential side effect of bleeding and to formally recommend preoperative aspirin therapy for cardiac surgery patients.

 

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