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Need blood transfusion days after fusion?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 3 days post op from plif of l4-l5. I am also fused at l5-s1
from a surgery 3 years ago. My doctor said my hemoglobin was at 9 and the next day it dropped to 7. He said he was surprised that I didnt lose much blood during surgery, but couldn't give good answers why I'm losing blood now.he mentioned internal bleeding . Also when I recieved the blood I ran a low grade feever. I have been at the hospital five days now and it has been a nightmare. They couldn't get my iv in after the first one blew
But finally after fifeteen tries and many nurses they got it.it cried so hard my whole body went into spasms including my back. Then they had to put in a central line in the neck for my transfussion and they missed ten times and now I have a large hematoma between neck And shoulder blade.
They thought they punctured my lung and hurried an xray machine in my room to see if they did bit luckily they didn't. My body went into spasm again.
Finally they put a pic line and so far so good. This time I told them to sedate me. I was just wonder if people had to have blood transfusions from low hemoglobin and if that helped or did they end up having internal bleeding cause of it. After the transfussion my number went to ten which they said was still a little low. I get my blood results tomorrow and hope it went up more.



  • That sounds horrible. I hope that the next couple of days goes better than the last 3. Keep us posted on your blood count and any more fevers. It does sound like you are a very hard stick when it comes to IVs and pic lines. Glad you finally got them going though. Good luck.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I am so sorry to hear that you are going through so much! I went through many similar things just last month when I had my TWO fusion surgeries. Yep I said TwO!
    Are you by any chance on vancomycin? Its an IV antibiotic. I was on it in the hospital and my IVs kept going bad. Then they got to a point where they couldn't put one in. (the nurses told me the vanco eats up your veins) They even had their IV expert from the med flight team come and try! When she couldn't get it that was it, they sent for the picc line team. Luckily I didn't have to have a central line that sounds awful!!
    I also didn't have a transfusion, although my blood count was very low, they seemed to be very anti transfusion, so I didn't argue! Now six weeks later, I'm still very anemic. I sure hope they get your blood count straightened out soon! And I hope they figure out what's causing it to be low! Please keep us posted . And if you want to PM I will be happy to help you get through this in any way I can!
    Hang in there! My thoughts are with you! - Dawn
    P.S. I just noticed that its four am. I bet the vampires will be there soon for your daily blood draw! Lol!
  • Dear Jas

    So sorry you've had to go through so much trauma. Hope your haemoglobin keeps on improving and that you'll start feeling a bit better soon.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Holy Heck! I am so sorry you've endured all of this.

    I've heard of folks getting transfused after surgery, usually hemoglobin below 9 is the cutoff. Sometimes it's from surgical loss plus hematoma formation at incision sites. I don't think it is the norm but I don't think it's rare.

    I think it's rare you were poked so many freakin times!

    Low grade fever can be sign of infection but dehydration can also cause a slightly elevated temp. Stress and anxiety also raises the temp. You've just had major insults on your body, I wouldn't be surprised if all your vitals were screwed up. Remember that the body tries to fight off insults(injuries) on its own and fever is one way it responds. I assume you received antibiotics in the OR(standard) and have for a few days after surgery, too.

    I'm glad you have the PICC line in. No more sticks for you! To give blood, you are supposed to have a little larger IV(same size tho for surgery) but somebody may have thought you had little veins and put in a smaller IV preop. If that's what happened, sure would have been nice if anesthesia restarted a larger bore one when you were out.

    Good luck, hope your hemoglobin numbers hold above 9. Got to be careful, some docs misinterpret numbers and see a low number but don't look at others-example: hemoglobin number is lower but you have been given a bunch of fluids which dilutes it and maybe resident or nurse doesn't look at the other numbers to see what is really going on.

    Keep us posted. So glad to hear of the PICC line, usually those folks are great and if you need them postop, infusion nurses are usually top notch, nice, and down to earth practical people.
  • I also had to have a transfusion post-op, well, it was between-op ;)

    After my first back surgery my right leg went numb and my stats were going down. The suction thing (drain tube) that was in by back was pulling a LOT of blood out of it daily - like a full 12 oz cup or more every 12 hours?

    After a CAT scan and MRI they determined that I was either having a reaction to the BMP within the spine or hemorhaging (sp?), in any case they wanted to open me back up and see.

    Before the second surgery they had to put in 2 units so that I could handle the surgery.

    After the second surgery my stats started to improve and the progression of the numbness stopped. That numbness (over a year later) is still there btw.

    Anyway - 9 days in the hospital. 8 of them on liquids only, I also had major iv issues, not as bad as yours sound though.

    Keep us informed - best of luck, I'll be watching for your updates.

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