Truth on Blood Transfusion
This was not at the base of her religious belief, as she is dominated by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, as she explains that if her life depended on it and there was no other possibility to save her from the disease, under no circumstance would she have refused the blood transfer.
But, four years after having gone through a heart surgery, she is completely new and feeling good, without any transfusion. Her belief is as well shared by the director of the hospital where Reisner had her surgery – “The best blood is in your own veins,” said Dr. Lori Heller, medical director of the blood management program at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, where Reisner had her surgery — without any transfusion. “We want to think before we transfuse.”
This thing has started developing due to the fact that doctors all around America, especially in New Jersey had to deal with people on the belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses. All over the United States there are as much as 1.5 million such people.
These days’ doctors have thought of the thing of offering patients a way of conserving their own blood. There are such drugs that boost blood level before having surgery, the possibility of cell salvage and lower thresholds to not giving blood at all, the possibilities to save your life with your own blood are in continuous change.
Since 2003 a hospital from Alabama has cut blood use with 25 % and as well lowered the blood costs per year. All around the United States, this situation has registered a big awareness and hospitals have decided to take action into it. Therefore, around 110 hospitals have begun their blood management program. Despite of the fact that a total number of 5,815 hospitals are registered in the country, some of them are waiting to put the existent programs in practice.
The doctors admit that back then in the days they used just to routinely transfuse without thinking of any other possible solution. In some cases these transfusions, even got the patient sick as the blood may have been contaminated.
In 1999, a study started and it was discovered that people that actually had transfusions, did worse than those that did not have such thing. Ever since the results of this study were made public, the people awareness regarding the effects of blood transfusion have grown. “As our knowledge of transfusions has progressed, we find that transfusions are less beneficial than we once thought and more harmful,” Hannon a former Navy flight surgeon, who is actually responsible for the foundation of Strategic Blood Management, explained his actions.
Despite of the fact there still are doctors today, which out of automatism, provide their anemic patients with small blood quantities, with one to two units, just out of habit. As researches have been made in this regard, it was proved that this is similarly to a miniature organ transplant, and therefore has side effects as well as errors, complications and infections.
As a body enters into contact with a new blood, new anti bodies enter our body, antibodies that we do not recognize and do not know how to handle.
Apart from the fact that the blood transfusions are linked to more hospitalization days, to catching pneumonia, infections spreading in the hospital, central line sepsis, these complications and side effects can even lead to death.
Anyhow, the people that are prone to get HIV infected and that are sensitive are asked not to have any blood transfusion, under no circumstance. This will only make their case worse.
Being aware of all these results and studies, the American Red Cross appeals to doctors all over America, saying that there still are some cases where the blood transfer is the only solution. In these cases blood transfusions should not be denied.
You can built up a patient’s blood with iron and erythropoietin, or EPO. These are meant to form more red cells and this way help with the amount of blood the patient needs.
A normal hemoglobin level is at about 15 grams per deciliter in young adult patients. However, it is urgent when these decrease beneath 8 grams per deciliter. The question remaining is whether they should let them decrease all the way up to 7 – 7.5 grams per deciliter, or there is the urgency of performing them the transfer at 9 ranges?
For the moment, the vast majority of the doctors take into consideration what they have learned and what they have experienced so far. However, if the patient’s condition allows it, they will take it upon themselves to choose the right form of treatment.
Doctors are being worried and careful in their practices as they do not want to fail and do not want anything to go wrong. But according to Hannon, doctors and patients, should have a discussion and decide together on the right and proper solution for their problem. A self – educating program should be made in this regard.
In time, these practices will be the only ones used, or so they say.11