Administering intravenous recombinant human erythropoietin plus iron in anemic patients prior to valve replacement appears to improve postoperative survival and decrease blood transfusion use and hospital length of stay. Spanish researchers found that the combination was independently associated with decreased postoperative morbidity, in-hospital mortality, and postoperative renal failure. Blood cell transfusion rates were 93% for the control group and 57% for the intervention group.

Abstract: American Journal of Cardiology, October 2012.