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Blood Conservation Program Continues at San Ramon Regional Medical Center

Oct 1, 2019

SRRMC is one of the only hospitals in the region to offer this service

San Ramon, Calif. – For more than 20 years, San Ramon Regional Medical Center has offered the option of blood conservation – or bloodless medicine – for many of its procedures. Some patients want to avoid receiving blood transfusions during procedures because of religious beliefs or medical concerns.

Patients travel to San Ramon Regional Medical Center from surrounding areas – including Reno, Nevada, and San Luis Obispo – for the blood conservation program, as it is one of the only hospitals in the region to offer this service.

San Ramon Regional Medical Center has a team of physicians, nurses and other health professionals skilled in blood conservation techniques including medications and technology to minimize blood loss during procedures.

Traditionally, blood lost during surgery is replaced with banked blood from donors. The San Ramon Regional Medical Center blood conservation program uses special surgical methods that minimize blood loss and uses substitutes for blood products.

Thanks to medical advances, surgery today can be performed without blood transfusions. In fact, many techniques developed for people who need bloodless surgery for religious reasons are now standard procedure for all patients.

“These procedures make us better surgeons,” said Dr. Murali Dharan, Cardiothoracic Surgeon at San Ramon Regional Medical Center, who is one of five physicians who perform bloodless surgeries at the hospital. “We have done hundreds of bloodless surgeries and procedures with excellent results.”

Blood conservation interventions can be used in numerous medical and surgical specialties including: Cardiology, colon surgery, emergency services, general surgery, internal medicine, neurosurgery, orthopedics, spine surgery and more.

San Ramon Regional Medical Center uses a variety of advanced techniques to conserve blood loss during surgery. Some methods include:

  • Laboratory conservation technique – San Ramon Regional Medical Center does "micro sampling" for lab tests, a technique that reduces the amount of blood removed for blood tests.
  • Intra- and post-operative blood salvaging – A technique using a special blood recycling machine that collects, cleans and returns blood to the patient’s own blood during and after surgical procedures.
  • Harmonic Scalpel, Argon Beam Coagulator and Electrocautery – These surgical devices seal blood vessels during surgery, minimizing bleeding.
  • Laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery – Medical advances have led to more procedures using smaller incisions and fiber optic technology to reduce blood loss and recovery time.
  • Pharmaceutical agents – Medications assist in reducing blood loss by increasing clotting or controlling excessive bleeding. A genetically engineered hormone called EPO (erythropoietin) prompts the body to more quickly replace lost blood.
  • Nutritional support – Patients are advised of nutritional measures to take before surgery to make sure they are in optimal preoperative condition.

“We respect those who don’t want blood transfusions due to religious beliefs or other concerns,” Dr. Dharan added. “Performing bloodless procedures means we are minimizing blood loss and reducing the need for blood transfusions, which typically means better outcomes for the patient.”

The team at San Ramon Regional Medical Center provides expertise in patient blood management, improving health outcomes and creating peace of mind for those who seek high-quality healthcare, without the use of blood or blood products.

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