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Patient Blood Management and Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program

Many people want to avoid receiving blood transfusions during medical procedures because of medical concerns, religious beliefs or other reasons. There is strong scientific evidence that overall, patients who avoid transfusions have fewer complications, faster recoveries, and shorter hospital stays. At St. Mary’s Medical Center, we offer a progressive approach to blood management for all patients in our care.

St. Mary’s has a team of doctors, nurses and other health professionals specially-trained in blood conservation techniques, including medications and technology to help minimize blood loss during procedures. Our bloodless medicine and surgery team has agreed to provide transfusion-free medicine and surgery to patients who request it.

Our certified patient blood management navigator will explain all procedures and options available to you and will also remain in contact with you throughout the process.

What is Patient Blood Management (PBM)?

Traditionally, blood lost during surgery is replaced with banked blood from donors. Our PBM and bloodless medicine and surgery program provides treatment plans that help manage your own blood to both undergo surgery and recover without the need for transfusions. This is done through special surgical methods designed to help minimize blood loss, and evidence-based techniques and medications to help manage and retain your own blood, avoiding the need for transfusion of donor blood components.

What Procedures Can Use Blood Conservation Techniques?

Thanks to medical advances, surgery today can be performed without blood transfusions. In fact, many techniques developed for people who needed bloodless surgery for religious reasons are now standard procedure for all patients.

Blood conservation interventions can be used in quite a few of our medical and surgical specialties, including:

  • Cardiology
  • Colon/rectal surgery
  • Endocrinology
  • Emergency services
  • Family practice
  • Gastroenterology
  • General surgery
  • Gynecology/oncology surgery
  • Hematology/oncology
  • Infectious disease
  • Intensive and critical care
  • Internal medicine
  • Neurosurgery and neurological interventions
  • Obstetrics/gynecology
  • Orthopedics
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • Spine surgery
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Urology and urologic surgery
  • Vascular surgery

Techniques and Equipment

St. Mary’s Medical Center uses a variety of advanced techniques to conserve blood loss during surgery. Some methods we use include:

  • Laboratory conservation technique — Our hospital uses "micro sampling" for lab tests, a technique that reduces the amount of blood removed for blood tests.
  • Intra- and post-operative blood salvaging (such as the Cell Saver®) — A technique using a special blood recycling machine that collects, cleans and returns the patient’s own blood during and after surgical procedures.
  • Harmonic Scalpel, Argon Beam Coagulator and Electro-cautery — These surgical devices seal blood vessels during surgery, minimizing bleeding.
  • Laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery — Medical advances have led to more procedures using smaller incisions and fiber optic technology to reduce blood loss and recovery time.
  • Pharmaceutical agents — Medications assist in reducing blood loss by increasing clotting or controlling excessive bleeding. A genetically engineered hormone called EPO (erythropoietin) prompts the body to more quickly replace lost blood.
  • Nutritional support — Patients are advised of nutritional measures to take before surgery to make sure they are in optimal preoperative condition.

How to Choose Blood Management for Your Procedure

Our certified PBM navigator will provide information you need regarding our program, and will stay in contact with you and your family throughout the process.

If you plan to use this program for an upcoming procedure, please contact our patient navigator at (561) 882-6332. You will also need to talk to your physician in advance about your wishes.

For a list of physicians participating in the blood conversation program at St. Mary’s Medical Center, use our Find a Physician tool Find a Physician tool, and search by specialty and area of interest.

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