Seminar to Raise Awareness about Blood Issues and Available Alternatives
People who are uncomfortable receiving blood through transfusions or hold personal or religious convictions against receiving transfusions now can learn more about bloodless surgery and blood management. Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital is hosting a free seminar on bloodless medicine and transfusion options on Saturday, July 19 from 2 to 4 p.m. The class will be held in the hospital’s Professional Building Classroom located at 11302 Fallbrook Drive. People interested in attending can register online at www.CyFairHospital.com/Seminar or by calling 1-800-681-2733.
Blood management involves using the latest drugs, technology and techniques to decrease blood loss and reduce the need for transfusions during surgery. Blood management can involve boosting red blood cell count prior to surgery, monitoring and optimizing oxygen delivery during surgery, avoiding blood loss during surgery, and collecting and reusing blood during surgery.
A blood management program offers patients several options of using their own blood during surgery: patients can have their blood drawn ahead of time and then bank it until they need it during the procedure; blood can be drawn immediately prior to surgery, replaced with intravenous fluids and then returned after surgery; or blood lost during surgery can be collected, filtered and cleaned, and then returned to the patient. Blood management techniques can be performed on a wide range of conditions, including open heart surgery, hip and knee replacements, hysterectomies, neurosurgery, organ transplants, and some trauma injuries.
“Patients, especially those with rare blood types, are becoming more aware of blood management and are choosing to use their own blood during surgery,” says Leslie Richards, blood management coordinator at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital. “We can reduce the need for transfusions so patient outcomes may improve and recovery times may be faster by efficiently managing blood use during surgery.”
Blood management procedures are often utilized by patients who, for religious reasons, do not believe in blood transfusions. However, there are other reasons patients may wish to pursue blood management surgery. Some patients cannot receive blood transfusions because their bodies have made antibodies against markers found on some red blood cells. Others are concerned there may be a risk of contracting diseases from blood transfusions.
Nearly five million Americans receive blood transfusions every year to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, from serious injuries to cancer and hemophilia. Efficient blood management can help preserve blood inventory, which in the 24-county Texas Gulf Coast region requires more than 800 units of blood daily to support patients.
"Bloodless" means medical or surgical treatment without the use of banked (stored) allogenic blood or primary blood components. Blood loss often occurs during surgery. A bloodless program endeavors to minimize blood loss by utilizing special blood conservation methods.