Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program
I am planning an elective surgical procedure that could involve significant blood loss. I am concerned about the health risks such as disease and infection associated with receiving donor blood. Are there any alternatives to this treatment?
You are not alone in your concerns. There is growing apprehension among all people today regarding the use of blood and blood products. Concerned physicians, nurses and other health care professionals have recently turned their attention to many of the latest techniques in blood conservation.
Bloodless medicine is a special service for patients who wish to avoid the use of donor blood during medical and surgical procedures. There are many reasons why a transfusion-free treatment method may be preferred. Religious convictions sometimes prevent patients from receiving blood transfusions. And there is a comfort in knowing that with bloodless techniques the risk of contracting bloodborne illnesses such as hepatitis or HIV is virtually eliminated.
The term bloodless medicine encompasses everything from micro-sampling techniques that draw a minimal amount of blood for testing to the use of sophisticated surgical equipment and techniques that reduce blood loss. The program also offers medications that increase the number of red blood cells in the patient, which reduces the need for transfusions even in complex situations.
Thanks to advances in equipment and technology, physicians and surgeons can safely and successfully perform a multitude of procedures, ranging from routine appendectomies to complex open-heart surgeries, without using blood transfusions. Bloodless medicine can provide medical and surgical care for a variety of specialties, including cancer surgery, cardiology, gynecology, hematology, neurology, orthopaedics and more.
Whether your reason for choosing bloodless medicine is personal or religious, there are definite benefits to choosing a health care system that offers bloodless medicine. These include a lowered risk of infections and other complications due to blood transfusions, plus rapid recovery.
Dr. Colville Ferdinand is medical director for the Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program at Georgia Regents Health System. Georgia Regents Medical Center is one of only 130 health care facilities in the U.S. and one of only 180 in the world to offer a bloodless medicine and surgery program.
For more information, please call 706-721-2677.