Bloodless Care Questions and Answers
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Bloodless Care Medicine and Patient Blood Management (FAQs)
We partner with you and use a team approach to target care to your specific needs. We understand you may have many reasons for preferring to avoid blood transfusions and blood products. You have choices when you come to us for care.
Here are answers to some common questions about blood care and patient management:
Why should I choose bloodless care medicine and patient blood management?
Bloodless care medicine and patient blood management may improve your safety by minimizing exposure to blood borne diseases and viruses. It may also reduce the length of your hospital stay and recovery time.
What are the program’s goals?
Some goals of the bloodless care medicine/patient blood management program are:
- To conserve your own blood
- To reduce blood loss
- To avoid unnecessary use of blood transfusions
- To provide an extra layer of support if you request non-blood transfusion management of your care
If I choose bloodless care medicine, will my own blood be used for testing and diagnostics?
Yes, it may be used for those purposes.
What is a blood transfusion?
When blood is removed from a donor’s vein, it contains four components: red and white blood cells, platelets and plasma (whole blood). The donor’s blood is cleaned, processed and separated into those components. A transfusion is a medical procedure that adds the donor’s blood or any of its components to your blood.
Why would I need a blood transfusion?
You may need a transfusion to replace blood lost due to injury or disease. It may also be necessary in the case of a major surgical procedure.
If I request bloodless care medicine, can I decide if there are any conditions under which I would accept blood products?
Yes. We want you to have the support you need at the level you need it. There are two main choices. You may refuse transfusions of whole blood or its components under any circumstances. You may also refuse transfusions except in life-or-death medical situations as a last resort.
What are minor blood products?
After the donor’s whole blood is cleaned, processed and separated into the four major blood components, proteins, enzymes, and hormones are extracted from each of them. These are called minor blood products (also fractions or derivatives). These products may also be derived from animals, such as pigs or cows. You may decide whether or not to accept them if you have requested bloodless care.
What are minor blood products used for?
Examples of minor blood fractions include albumin, thrombin, and clotting factors. They are used in medical care for many reasons, including to control bleeding, boost the immune system and help your blood clot.
What kind of treatments and technology can be used to support my bloodless care needs?
The team closely coordinates care with your needs and preferences. If you request bloodless care, you may still receive treatments and procedures such as :
- Early anemia management (to treat a lack of red blood cells)
- Minimally invasive surgeries
- Arterial embolization (to shrink a tumor)
- Pulse oximetry (to measure oxygen levels in blood)
- Low-volume blood draws
How and when should I discuss my bloodless care wishes with my doctor?
You can discuss your bloodless care preferences at an appointment with your doctor prior to medical care or an emergency. You may also find it helpful to share your long-term wishes in advance with your loved ones and any healthcare agents.
If you need surgery, you can discuss your preferences with the surgeon at your initial consultation. Find additional information to help guide your discussion at Patient Resources.
Will my bloodless care wishes be honored?
At Nuvance Health, we respect the rights of all patients to make their own informed healthcare decisions. Be sure to alert all hospital staff about your bloodless care preferences, including registration staff, nurses, doctors, surgeons and other specialists.
We request that you provide us with hard copies of an Advance Directive and/or other legal documentation of your preferences. This should be done at every point in your care, starting at registration. Advance Directives vary but may be included in documents such as:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Proxy
- NO BLOOD Healthcare Proxy
- NO BLOOD Healthcare Representative
- Healthcare Representative
- Healthcare Surrogate
Find additional information under Patient Resources.