A preoperative anemia is an independent risk factor for the occurrence of complications during and after surgical interventions. It is associated with an increased length of hospital stay, higher mortality and an increased use of blood transfusions. Anemia affects some 30-70% of patients suffering from inflammatory rheumatic diseases, mostly caused by iron deficiency and/or chronic inflammation. The possibilities to treat anemia in rheumatic patients were extremely limited for a long period of time as older studies showed life-threatening side effects, the need of high doses of iron supplements or the occurrence of many nonresponders. Further development of the supplements, new dosage schemes and the combination of supplements increased the efficacy and reduced the occurrence of side effects to a minimum. In addition to orthopedic surgical interventions for rheumatism that despite new therapeutic options in some cases still represent the only way to alleviate the complaints, more and more patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases also need surgical interventions due to comorbidities. Therefore, anemia should be clarified and preoperatively treated in accordance with the new study situation, to minimize additional complications due to anemia and to increase patient safety.© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Medizin Verlag GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature.
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