Open Access Open Badges Research article

Incidence and costs of bleeding-related complications in French hospitals following surgery for various diagnoses

Xin Ye1, Antoine Lafuma2*, Elodie Torreton2 and Axel Arnaud3

Author Affiliations

1 Ethicon, Inc., Room D207, Route 22, West Somerville, NJ, USA

2 Cemka-Eval, 43 boulevard du Maréchal Joffre, Bourg la Reine, France

3 Ethicon SAS, 1 rue Camille Desmoulins, Issy les Moulineaux, France

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BMC Health Services Research 2013, 13:186  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-186

Published: 22 May 2013



Limited information is available on the epidemiology and economics of bleeding during surgery in France.


The objective of this study was to examine the incidence, costs and length of stay (LOS) of bleeding-related complications during various surgical procedures.

A retrospective DRG (diagnosis-related group) analysis was conducted using the French National database PMSI (Programme Médicalisé des Systèmes d’Informations). Patients undergoing surgery during 2008 were identified according to their DRG classifications and those with at least one episode of secondary haemostasis and blood transfusion (according to French procedure codes) were designated as ‘with bleeding’ (WB). The analysis focussed on DRGs where ≥10% of patients presenting with bleeding and compared them to patients who did not require blood transfusions (i.e. without bleeding: WoB).

Hospital LOS and costs (age and gender adjusted) were compared between WB and WoB patients within each DRG. Hospitalisation periods exceeding the LOS average (derived from the PMSI database) were compared using multivariate logistic regression adjusted for patient characteristics.


Amongst all 88 different surgical DRGs recognised by the French database 24 (totalling 321,657 hospitalisations) yielded WB rates ≥10% (range 10.3–25.3%). The highest DRG rates were for transplantations, cardiac and major orthopaedic surgery, vascular and solid organ surgery.

The average LOS for the WB population (adjusted for age, gender, number of procedures and secondary diagnoses) were 3.38 days (26.5%) longer than for the WoB population (p < 0.001). The average adjusted LOS costs for a WB patient were estimated at €12,087, and for a WoB patient €10,086 i.e. 19.9% higher than for WB patients (p < 0.001). The overall mean LOS was exceeded by 42.3% of WB patients compared to 37.0% of WoB patients (p < 0.001). Also, WB patients were more likely to exceed the average LOS than were WoB patients (Odds Ratio (OR) = 1.09, p < 0.001), after adjusting for patient characteristics.


The present study for France demonstrates a significant increase of hospital LOS and associated costs following post-surgical bleeding, supporting the need for blood conservation strategies.

Bleeding; Surgery; France; Costs; Incidence rate