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Alternatives to Blood Transfusion

If I'm anemic and I don’t want to take a blood transfusion, what other alternatives are there available to me?

For general purposes, we always recommend that you talk to your primary care provider about your options. Not all options are applicable to every patient. However, here are two options you may want to consider:


Supplements

In order to efficiently produce red blood cells, the body needs certain levels of:
  • Folate
  • B-12
  • Iron

NOTE: There are some conditions in which these supplements can be harmful. Always talk to your physician before taking supplements.

Erythropoietin (Epogen, Procrit, EPO)

  • Synthetic human protein normally produced in the kidneys, now chemically produced in a lab
  • Stimulates bone marrow to make more red blood cells
  • Conscience matter only because it contains a small amount of albumin used to stabilize it (pertains to United States health care only)
  • Takes 2-4 weeks to show effectiveness
  • Expensive; make sure billing and insurance issues are addressed
  • If your faith normally objects to a blood transfusion, this is considered a “conscience matter and a fraction.”

I'm having surgery soon and want to avoid transfusion if possible. What type of tools or techniques does Providence Regional provide for surgical patients who want to avoid a transfusion?

  • Davinci Robotic Surgery®
  • Aquamantys®
  • ConstavacTM
  • Electrocautery
  • Harmonic scalpel
  • Cell Saver
  • Pre-operative assessment and red blood cell optimization
  • Post-operative blood management consultation available for physicians who want to avoid transfusions for patients