Nearly five million Americans receive blood transfusions every year to treat a wide variety of medical conditions from serious injuries to cancer and hemophilia. However, in some cases, there may be another option for treatment that does not involve receiving blood from a donor.
The underlying principle behind giving blood transfusions is to maintain a certain level of hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells that is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body, in a patient’s blood. Low hemoglobin levels mean that less oxygen is being delivered to tissues and organs, possibly increasing the risk of infection, slowing the body’s ability to heal and causing tissue and organ damage. Proponents of blood management believe that patients may be able to do well at lower hemoglobin levels than previously believed.
Blood management combines a variety of techniques that allow a patient to be treated without blood transfusions. 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.
If you are considering a blood management procedure, talk to your doctor first or contact a blood management medicine center to find out if it is a good fit for you.
To find out more about the Cypress
Fairbanks Blood Management Program
and to contact the Bloodless Medicine
Coordinator, call 281-897-3485
or complete this brief questionnaire.
*"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.