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Objectives and limitations of bloodless medical care CURRENT OPINION IN HEMATOLOGY Shander, A., Goodnough, L. T. 2006; 13 (6): 462-470


To outline the rationale, limitations, and execution of bloodless medical and surgical programs, highlighting characteristics that contribute to successful outcomes.Clinical experiences with patients who refuse blood transfusions for religious reasons have provided valuable lessons and raise intriguing questions about the necessity of routine blood transfusions. Healthcare centers with bloodless medicine and surgery programs feature a novel concept of patient care aimed at improving outcomes. A one-tiered approach to minimize blood usage for all patients, regardless of religious beliefs, is being successfully adopted at an increasing number of institutions. Since most single blood-conservation techniques reduce blood usage by just 1-2 units, a series of integrated preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative conservation approaches is required. These include preoperative autologous donation, erythropoietic support, acute normovolemic hemodilution, individualized assessment of anemia tolerance, implementation of conservative transfusion thresholds, meticulous surgical techniques, and judicious use of phlebotomy and pharmacologic agents for limiting blood loss.The objectives of bloodless medicine and surgery programs are straightforward but require staff with expertise in transfusion medicine, intensive teamwork, patient-specific customization, careful planning, and integrated use of multimodal strategies.

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View details for PubMedID 17053460