Author: Eric Tesdahl, PhD

As a member of the Medical Department, Senior Biostatistician Eric Tesdahl, PhD, provides research design and complex data analysis in close collaboration with our clinical experts. His statistical analyses have been published in top journals including the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Pediatrics, Circulation, and the American Journal of Public Health. Dr. Tesdahl is an award-winning scholar and the recipient of multiple research grants and contracts from the Kellogg Foundation, the National Association of City and County Health Officers, and the Minnesota Department of Health. Prior to joining SpecialtyCare, he spent three years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From 2003-2005, Eric served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, West Africa. He earned his BA in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and his MS and PhD in Community Research and Action from Vanderbilt.

The Influence of Ultrafiltration on RBC Transfusion during CPB


Ultrafiltration is thought to reduce morbidity and the risk of red blood cell transfusion, however very few studies have examined the relationship between ultrafiltration and the overall risk of intraoperative RBC transfusion. Using data from the SpecialtyCare Operative Procedural Registry (SCOPE™), our study looks at a population of nearly 98,000 adults undergoing cardiac surgery at 197 hospitals to evaluate the effects of ultrafiltration volume removed during CPB on the relative risk of receiving an intraoperative RBC transfusion. Recognizing the findings of our own previous work, we were especially interested in testing potential differences between male and female patients in the effects of ultrafiltration.

Gender Differences in Intraoperative Blood Transfusions

gender and blood transfusions

It is a fairly well-known fact in the cardiac community that women have higher morbidity and mortality associated with coronary artery bypass (CABG) procedures. The reasons traditionally given for this disparity include women’s relatively smaller vasculature, higher incidence of anemia, and smaller circulating blood volume. Early in 2016, we in the Medical Department were discussing this phenomenon and decided to design a study using the robust data from our SpecialtyCare Operative Procedural Registry to find something in the intraoperative space that might be leading to these very different post-operative outcomes for men and women. Our findings were somewhat surprising.