|Ask The Expert |
ASK THE EXPERT
Q: What is bloodless medicine?
Bradford Chervin, MD
in medical and surgical
treatments for patients with
diseases and disorders of the
ears, nose, throat, head and
neck) Bradford Chervin,
A: Surgeons use blood transfusions
for various medical
situations. Traditionally, transfusions
are used when a
patient loses a significant amount of blood during a
surgical procedure, childbirth or a serious injury.
Blood transfusions help patients
maintain a certain level of
hemoglobin in the blood.
Hemoglobin is a component
of red blood cells, and it is
responsible for carrying oxygen
throughout the body.
Bloodless medicine and surgery is a term that describes the
range of technologies used to maximize blood production
while minimizing blood loss and the need for transfusions.
There are many personal reasons why patients
choose transfusion-free medicine. Research has
shown that the benefits include:
- Less exposure to potential blood contaminants
- Fewer transfusion-associated complications
- A shorter hospital stay
- Faster healing and recovery
Many physicians treat patients who elect bloodless medicine
and surgery. The decision is the patient’s, but it must
be made clearly and formally in advance.
In addition to bloodless techniques, some patients
prefer to bank or store their own blood, or the blood of
a family member. Others decide to have their own
blood collected, cleaned and recycled back into the body.
This method is called autotransfusion, and uses a cell salvage
machine or a cell saver. It is a safe, simple and very
effective way to reduce—and in many cases, eliminate altogether—a blood transfusion.
Bridgeport Hospital is one of the only two hospitals
in the state, and the only one in Fairfield County,
with a formal Bloodless Medicine & Surgery Program
that covers surgical and medical services. For information
about physicians who provide bloodless
care, please call the Bridgeport Hospital Bloodless
Medicine & Surgery Program Coordinator at
203-384-3848 or 1-866-NO-BLOOD.|