Transfusion-Free Medicine and Surgery

Preoperative Planning for Transfusion-Free Surgery

Upon choosing transfusion-free care, each patient is evaluated so as to form a comprehensive strategy for blood conservation, especially when surgery is being considered.

You will be asked to provide your medical history and will have a general physical examination that includes a blood test. This test allows your medical team to identify underlying disorders such as clotting deficiencies or other abnormalities.

Anemia is a major concern and tests can reveal your body's ability to make blood; it may be necessary to reinforce the blood cell formation process. Certain medications can contribute to bleeding during surgery so identifying these early on is extremely important to minimize blood loss. As you can see, the evaluation process enables your medical team to be prepared.

For example, a blood test reveals your red blood count and oxygen carrying capacity. If it is found to be low, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following therapies:

  • B12, folic acid or vitamin C
  • Iron therapy
  • Erythropoietin (a hormone that stimulates red blood cell production)