The availability of patient blood management (blood conservation) strategies will vary from hospital to hospital, and will depend on resources and accessibility.

Pre-operative (before surgery)

The Blood Conservation Coordinator may discuss the following options with you and recommend one or more patient blood management strategies if appropriate for your situation. The coordinator will consult with a physician as required.

  • Diet - adjusting your diet may increase your haemoglobin before surgery. Including foods rich in iron such as certain meats, vegetables, etc, in your diet may increase your haemoglobin.
  • If you are on a special diet, you may want to consult with your physician or a dietician before making any significant changes.
  • Iron Supplements - iron supplements are another option by which you may be able to increase your haemoglobin, but require time before surgery to be effective.
  • Pre-Autologous Donations - in some cases, you may be able to donate your own blood prior to the surgery.
  • Erythropoietin - is a naturally occurring hormone produced by the kidney and stimulates red blood cell production. To gain the most benefits from Erythropoietin, you must also be taking iron supplements.

Intra-operative (during surgery)
  • Cell Saver - is a procedure used when there is a large amount of blood loss anticipated. The blood is collected from the operative site, washed of any contaminants, and the red blood cells are returned to the patient.
  • Acute Normovolemic Hemodilution - This is a process where a unit or two of the patient’s own blood is removed prior to the start of the surgery, and the volume is replaced with intravenous solutions. After the blood loss is over, the blood removed earlier is returned to the patient.
  • Drugs: Antifibrinolytics - are used during surgery to prevent or reduce further bleeding.
  • Surgical Techniques and equipment/devices - techniques such as keyhole surgery, spinal anaesthesia, hypotensive anaesthesia, and devices such as electrocautery, laser, harmonic scalpel, etc may be used to decrease the amount of blood loss during surgery.

Post-operative Options (after surgery)

  • Diet - can be used in the post-operative recovery period to increase the patient’s haemoglobin count.
  • Iron supplements - your doctor may recommend iron supplements during the recovery period.

Transfusions if required during your hospital admission.

"The best transfusion is the transfusion not given."




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