Bloodless surgery is a new concept for many patients, but at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, we have been working for many years as a bloodless surgery team to provide this alternative option for our patients.
What is Bloodless Surgery?
Bloodless surgery techniques are used before, during and after surgery to avoid transfusions of donor blood entirely.
Why would a Patient Choose Bloodless Surgery?
Our doctors usually perform bloodless surgeries for three reasons:
- Religious beliefs—Jehovah’s Witnesses avoid blood transfusions for religious reasons and seek bloodless alternatives
- Concerns about safety—some patients want to avoid blood transfusions depending on the blood supply. They would prefer to avoid the risk of both blood-borne infections and immune system suppression
- Reject concept of donated blood—for some patients, the idea of a transfusion means they are sicker than they are and reject the concept of something foreign in their bodies because of their religion or safety
However, it’s not just a religious point of view or a concern about safety that promotes bloodless surgery. The techniques are of benefit for the entire population if hospitals employ best practices in blood management.
How do Surgeons Perform Bloodless Surgeries?
There are three points throughout the surgical process where doctors can use bloodless surgery techniques:
- Pre-surgery—using medication to increase the blood supply or storing the patient’s own blood before surgery
- During surgery—using techniques, specialized equipment and other technologies to avoid blood loss
- Post-surgery—using techniques that eliminate the use for transfused blood or blood products
Bloodless Surgery Team
At MedStar Georgetown, we have a team of people who have been working with bloodless surgery patients for years. Our administrator has more than 20 years of experience in educating physicians and healthcare professionals about bloodless surgery, and our surgeons work with many departments to explain the benefits of bloodless surgery and train staff.
Translation services are available.
Want to know more about bloodless surgery? Please call us at 202-444-1797 to make an appointment, or talk to our administrator about your bloodless surgery needs.