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    The objective was to determine the optimal cell saver device settings (infusion rate and wash rate) at which hematocrit is preserved and potassium and lactate are removed from banked red blood cells (RBC). Red cells were washed using the Cobe BRAT 2 Autologous Blood Recovery Unit and sampled for electrolyte composition and hematocrit pre- and postwash. This was a single-center study. Red cells were washed using six infusion rates (100-1,000 mL/min) and six wash rates (100-1,000 mL/min) for a total of 36 combinations. Hematocrit, potassium, glucose, and lactate were evaluated before and after washing. At wash rates ≤400 mL/min, hematocrit increased independent of infusion rate. At wash rates ≥400 mL/min, slower infusion rates were associated with higher hematocrit compared to faster infusion rates (p < 0.0001 for a wash rate 400-800 mL/min, p < 0.0005 for a wash rate 1,000 mL/min). Maximal wash speeds were associated with decreasing hematocrit. Infusion and wash rate were both independent predictors of potassium change; slower rates were associated with a larger decrease in potassium. Glucose decreased proportionally as infusion and wash rate decreased. Lactate did not show an association with either infusion or wash rate. Red-cell washing produces higher hematocrit and lower potassium as infusion rate and wash rate decrease. A 340-mL unit of RBC can be processed in 4.26 minutes without loss of hematocrit or an increase in potassium when both infusion and wash rates are set to 400 mL/min. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Natalie K Smith, Sang J Kim, Qasim Simmons, Hung-Mo Lin, Diana Romano, Elaine Boydston, Samuel DeMaria, Jeron Zerillo. The Optimal Cell Salvage Settings to Maximize Hematocrit and Minimize Potassium Using the Cobe BRAT2 Autologous Blood Recovery Unit. Journal of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia. 2022 Jul;36(7):1893-1900

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    PMID: 34446326

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