Heart surgeons at PGI effect a bloodless coupStore blood before and give it back to the patient during surgery

Sourav Sanyal

Chandigarh, March 3: A cold blooded operation this! PGI surgeons have mastered the art of ‘‘bloodless surgeries.’’ Under the procedure, a patient’s own blood is taken out and stored before the surgery, and given to him at the time he is being operated upon.

Talking to Newsline, Prof R.S. Dhaliwal, head of PGI’s Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Department said, ‘‘The technique would reduce chances of infection through blood transfusion.’’ He added earlier, open heart surgeries used to require multiple units of blood, but now, they have stopped arranging blood from outside.

‘‘Usually, we bleed a patient before surgery, and store blood in sterilised containers. This blood is channelised back to the body. This facilitates easy recovery and lessens chances of transfusion-related infections,’’ he says. ‘‘We also give certain drugs to check excess bleeding during surgery,’’ he adds.

That is not all. Whatever little blood comes out from the body during the surgery is also being stored in sterilised containers and transfused back. This has helped the department lessen dependence on PGI’s blood bank.

Sources in PGI’s Transfusion Medicine Department say a few other departments - including Orthopaedics and Oral Health Sciences - too have started carrying out autologous blood transfusion for certain procedures, but only in cases where the patient is not suffering from diabetes, hypertension, blood pressure or malignancies. Doctors say autologous transfusion is very helpful in cases which require large amount of blood including total hip or knee replacement surgeries. The patient is bled once a couple of weeks before surgery and again a few days before before the surgery.