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Bloodless Medicine & Surgery

Committed to Choice

At Whittier Hospital Medical Center we are committed to providing our patients a range of services which are sensitive to their needs and desires in relation to blood products. We understand that many patients choose not to receive blood products under any conditions, and we respectfully accommodate this choice. Other patients would prefer not to have blood products administered, but will accept them under certain circumstances.

Our Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program is affiliated with a multi-specialty panel of physicians who are dedicated to upholding patient's preferences regarding blood, and experienced in providing a variety of medical and surgical services without its use. Whatever your feelings are regarding blood transfusions, the Bloodless Medicine and Surgery team at Whittier Hospital will respect your wishes.

Program Definition

A Blood Transfusion-Free Program involves organization and management of hospital processes with skilled medical/surgical strategies. It is sometimes referred to as Blood Transfusion-Free or Bloodless Medicine and Surgery and involves medical and surgical procedures without blood transfusion.

Significant Advantages

For those patients who prefer health care services without blood transfusion, there are numerous advantages in seeking services at a facility that has a Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program. Generally, these include:

Greater level of transfusion-free expertise
Established nonblood clinical strategies implemented in an expeditious way
Hospital wide, personalized patient cooperation and support
Specific, detailed patient identification to help insure patients' directives are followed regarding nonblood management
Networking with other Bloodless programs and physicians

Hospital support system:

Physician panel
Hospital Leadership
Nursing staff
Ancillary services

Services provided without blood transfusion:

No whole blood, red cells, white cells, platelets or plasma
Use of plasma proteins and products that may contain plasma proteins are individual patient decisions
Services provided without patients pre-deposited blood
Intraoperative and postoperative blood salvage customarily practiced when appropriate and acceptable to patient
Equipment set up in continuous circuit with non-blood prime

Principles of Patient Core

Good medicine and surgery applied in a progressive and focused environment
Careful surgical procedures used to prevent blood loss (meticulous hemostasis)
Strategies are employed to help minimize blood loss resulting from hemorrhage
Smaller samples are used for blood tests (reducing Iatrogenic blood loss)
Methods are employed to help maximize oxygen delivery to body cells
Methods are employed to minimize oxygen consumption by body cells
Pharmaceutical agents are used to improve blood count
Valuable time is not wasted - health care providers avoid the "wait and watch" approach

Role of Patients

Prepares documentation such as Advanced Medical Directives
Becomes knowledgeable of issues requiring personal decisions
Makes decisions prior to development of health problems or emergencies, whenever possible

Explains directives clearly to:

Admitting Department personnel
Emergency room personnel
Any others responsible for patient care
Does not wait until there is a crisis/takes initiative
Does not depend on paramedics to convey healthcare directives to hospital personnel
Has a relative or friend accompany him/her to the hospital who is able to clearly and accurately convey the patient's personal directives, especially if an emergency or other major health crises is involved

Role of Physicians

Is educated in principles of clinical strategies for managing patients without blood transfusion
Comprehends and applies appropriate principles of nonblood medical management
Ascertains patient's individual directives
Respects Patients' Rights regarding informed choice/consent
Explains to patient risks and benefits of avoiding blood transfusion
Avoids pressuring patient in an attempt to change patient's mind
Verifies that all members of medical and surgical teams understand patient's directives
Willingly consults with other physicians experienced in nonblood medical management strategies
Takes initiative during crises, avoiding the "wait and watch" posture
Adjusts Physician Orders to help minimize blood draws, ordering pediatric or micro sampling for blood tests

Role of Admitting Personnel

Determines patient directive regarding management without transfusion
Obtains patient data, including religion (notes if patient is one of Jehovah's Witnesses)
Obtains available Advance Directives from patient
Has patient sign hospital release regarding treatment without blood
Determines if patient wishes to have No Blood sign posted above bed
Special wrist band
No Blood stickers for chart and documents
No Blood sign for posting above bed (if requested by patient)
Release of liability forms
Copies of patient's Advance Directives
Notifies Bloodless Coordinator

Role of Nursing

Checks face sheet to determine if patient is in the Transfusion-Free program
Is supportive of patient
Avoids attempting to influence patient with personal feelings regarding transfusion therapy
Places Transfusion-Free special wrist band on patient
After surgery or when patient is moved to another room, sees that identification items listed above are in place
Assists with communication - making sure all personnel, including physicians, are aware that patient is in the transmission-free program

Contact Information

To contact the hospital please call 562.464.6347, or email us at or at

To reach the Hospital Liaison Committee for JW Orange County, please call 657.200.5037 or send an email to Francisco Barahona Jr | Pastoral Care/Visitation

Patients need to select a physician that is part of the Bloodless Medicine Program and a Health Plan affiliated with Whittier Hospital Medical Center.
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