Patients choose transfusion-free care for a variety of reasons. Some wish to avoid transfusions based on religious convictions. Others want to reduce the possibility of transmission of blood-borne diseases. Despite all the precautions and safety measures taken to ensure a safe blood supply, the possibility of transmitting viruses such as HIV and hepatitis through blood transfusions cannot be completely eliminated. Still others appreciate the mounting clinical evidence that transfusion-free strategies and technology may have a positive impact on healing and enhance the recovery process. Many recent studies indicate that by avoiding transfusions, a patient reduces the risk of developing post-operative infections and eliminates the risk of experiencing an allergic reaction to transfused blood. Transfusion-Free care is a safe and healthy choice.
Blood shortages are a way of life throughout much of the country. Despite continuous blood drives and radio and TV advertisements calling for blood donations, it’s not uncommon for a surgery to be canceled because there is simply not enough blood available.
Blood shortages are not the only concern. By avoiding transfusions, patients and third-party payors do not have to deal with the rising costs of blood products.
“There is no question that it would be advantageous for more surgeons and hospitals nationwide to adopt transfusion-free surgery techniques,” adds Rick Selby, M.D., the Program’s Medical Director and professor of surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “There is true value in avoiding transfusions — value that can be realized by all patients.”