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by: Aryeh Shander, M.D., Englewood Hospital and Medical Center
November 29, 2012
More hospitals and physicians are turning to bloodless surgery or blood conservation because it is believed to be healthier, safer and less costly for patients than standard surgical procedures.
The principle goal of bloodless medicine or patient blood management (PBM) is to minimize blood loss and to reduce or eliminate exposure to allogeneic (genetically different) blood transfusion. The goal of bloodless surgery centers is to avoid unnecessary use of blood that may lead to risk of infection or other complications. The risks associated with blood transfusions have been well documented.
Overall, patients who avoid transfusions have fewer complications, faster recoveries and shorter hospital stays. Specific benefits include: lower rates of the most serious postoperative complications, including heart attack, stroke, and infections; decreased risk of immunological complications and allergic reactions; less exposure to blood-borne viruses and infections; and no risk of receiving the wrong blood type or facing a blood shortage on the day of surgery.
Many people object to receiving blood or blood products as part of their medical treatment. Some, such as Jehovahâ€™s Witnesses, object due to religious beliefs, while others do so as a result of healthcare concerns, knowledge of potential complications or other personal convictions.
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