Iron deficiency is a major problem in worldwide populations, being more alarming in surgical patients. In the presence of absolute iron deficiency (depletion of body iron), functional iron deficiency (during intense bone marrow stimulation by endogenous or exogenous factors), or iron sequestration (acute or chronic inflammatory conditions), iron-restricted erythropoiesis can develop. This systemic review was conducted to draw attention to the delicate problem of perioperative anemia, and to provide solutions to optimize the management of anemic surgical patients. Systemic reviews and meta-analyses, clinical studies and trials, case reports and international guidelines were studied, from a database of 50 articles. Bone marrow biopsy, serum ferritin levels, transferrin saturation, the mean corpuscular volume, and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration were used in the diagnosis of iron deficiency. There are various intravenous iron formulations, with different pharmacological profiles used for restoring iron. In surgical patients, anemia is an independent risk factor for morbidity and mortality. Therefore, anemia correction should be rapid, with parenteral iron formulations—the oral ones—being inefficient. Various studies showed the safety and efficacy of parenteral iron formulations in correcting hemoglobin levels and decreasing the blood transfusion rate, the overall mortality, the postoperative infections incidence, hospitalization days, and the general costs.
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