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Many physicians feel transfusion of donor stored (allogenic) blood has potential infection or inflammatory side effects. The Aortic Program provides quality surgical postoperative care without the use of stored (allogenic) blood, using specialized techniques to minimize a patient’s blood loss before, during and after surgery. While not every intervention may be performed without donor blood transfusion, the expert team at the Aortic Program may give you the best chance to go through such intervention transfusion-free. Many challenging procedures at Cedars Sinai Medical Center have been performed without blood transfusions.
Blood conservation techniques
Blood conservation techniques include:
- Simulating bone marrow to produce red blood cells
- Pre- or intra-operative donation of blood that is returned to the patient after the intervention
- Using cell-saver that collects shed blood, and re-administers the patient’s own blood
- Judicious intra- and postoperative blood pressure control to reduce bleeding from surgical site
- Retrograde utologous priming (a modern perfusion technique for interventions using heart-lung-machine)
The patients undergoing interventions at the Aortic Program have two choices:
- Option 1: No blood transfusions ever (e.g. for Jehovah’s Witnesses)
- Option 2: Blood conservation techniques (rather than blood transfusions) with the optionto accept a blood transfusion if a life-or-death situation arises.
Treatment of Minors
The Aortic Program respects the concerns of parents wishing to avoid transfusion of stored (allogenic) blood for their children and will work with parents to pursue acceptable treatment options . Parents need to be aware that federal and state laws may impose limitations for withholding blood transfusions for minors in a life-or-death situation.