Bloodless Medicine

Learn About Bloodless Surgery Options

Do you object to the use of blood transfusions in medical procedures? Whether it’s for religious, medical or personal reasons, a growing number of people seek to avoid exposure to donated blood. Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital has established our Blood Management Program in order to meet the need for medically acceptable alternatives.

Why Bloodless Medicine?

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 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.

Transfusion-Free Techniques

We work to combine advanced medical technology with an experienced team of health care professionals to create an atmosphere of mutual understanding, trust and respect.

In “bloodless” medical or surgical treatment, we work to minimize blood loss by using special blood-conservation methods, such as lowering your blood pressure and temperature during surgery and using micro-sampling techniques that reduce the amount of blood needed for testing. This allows us to avoid the use of banked or stored allogeneic or primary blood components during bloodless surgery.

Before Surgery

  • Synthetic Erythropoietin: Your doctor may prescribe this hormone that stimulates production of red blood cells.
  • Iron, B12, Folic Acid and Vitamin C supplements help with the formation of red blood cells.
  • Discuss all medications you’re taking with your doctor as some can increase your risk of bleeding during surgery.

During Surgery

  • Discuss options with your doctor regarding intraoperative blood cell recovery and reinfusion, volume expanders, hemostatic drug therapy, hemodilution, platelet rich plasma, electrocautery, and thrombin and adhesives.
  • Meticulous surgical techniques and minimally invasive surgery will also reduce blood loss.

After Surgery

  • Minimal blood draws: Reducing the number of lab draws after surgery can reduce the risk of anemia.
  • Postoperative blood cell recovery and reinfusion: This process returns blood lost during surgery to the patient after being properly processed.
  • Erythropoietin and iron may be used to continue to stimulate the production of red blood cells.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

The Cypress Fairbanks Blood Management Program wants to make your decision easier. Here are some important questions to ask your doctor or surgeon, which may help in your decision-making process:

  • Will I need a blood transfusion? If so, why?
  • What can be done before surgery to reduce my risk of bleeding and need for a blood transfusion?
  • What is my physician prepared to do to minimize or eliminate the need for a blood transfusion in my care plan?
  • If I do need a blood transfusion, how might it affect my recovery?
  • What are the risks involved with blood transfusions?
  • What are the risks if I choose to avoid a blood transfusion?

If you are considering a blood management procedure, talk to your doctor first or contact a blood management center to find out if it is a good fit for you. Also, make sure you understand risks and benefits that go along with the procedure before you make up your mind.

Plan Ahead

If you’re considering a blood management procedure, we’re here to help you find the best fit. It’s important to plan ahead and make your wishes known in case of an emergency admission to the hospital.

You can learn more about bloodless medicine and surgery at Cypress Fairbanks’ Blood Management Program, and discuss your wishes for future care, by calling us at (281) 897-3485 today.