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Should anemia be treated before elective heart surgery?

Patients with severe anemia have double the mortality of those without anemia. Patients and family doctors are advised to rectify anemic status before heart surgery.

Unlike other recognized risk factors for cardiac surgery patients, such as advanced age and poor kidney function, anemia can be corrected with iron supplementation and medications that stimulate red blood cell production. Unfortunately, to correct anemia we need two to three weeks before the operation, which may be too long for many patients to wait.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.