Blood Conservation/Bloodless Medicine
Surgical options that conserve blood loss
Some people want to avoid using donated blood during medical procedures because of religious beliefs or medical concerns. At San Ramon Regional Medical Center, we offer you the option of blood conservation, or “bloodless medicine,” for many procedures.
- Variety of advanced techniques to conserve blood loss during surgery
- Blood Conservation Program manager
- Laboratory conservation techniques
San Ramon Regional Medical Center has a team of doctors, nurses and other health professionals skilled in blood conservation techniques including medications and technology to minimize blood loss during procedures. Our Blood Conservation Program manager will explain all procedures and options available to you and remain in contact with you throughout the process.
What is blood conservation/bloodless medicine?
Traditionally, blood lost during surgery is replaced with banked blood from donors. Our blood conservation program uses special surgical methods that minimize blood loss and uses substitutes for blood products.
What procedures can use blood conservation techniques?
Thanks to medical advances, surgery today can be performed without blood transfusions. In fact, many techniques developed for people who needed bloodless surgery for religious reasons are now standard procedure for all patients.
Blood conservation interventions can be used in quite a few of our medical and surgical specialties, including:
- Colon/rectal surgery
- Emergency services
- Family practice
- General surgery
- Gynecology/oncology surgery
- Infectious disease
- Intensive and critical care
- Internal medicine
- Plastic and reconstructive surgery
- Spine surgery
- Thoracic surgery
- Urology and urologic surgery
- Vascular surgery
Techniques and equipment
San Ramon Regional Medical Center uses a variety of advanced techniques to conserve blood loss during surgery. Some methods we use 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 (such as the Cell Saver®) — 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.
How to choose blood conservation for your procedure
Our Blood Conservation Program manager, Michael Nixon, will provide information you need and stay in contact with you and your family throughout the process.
If you plan to use this program for an upcoming procedure, please contact Mr. Nixon at (925) 275-8422 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will also need to talk to your physician in advance about your wishes.
For a list of physicians participating in the Blood Conversation Program at San Ramon Regional Medical Center, use our Find a Physician tool, and search by specialty and area of interest. Mr. Nixon also can assist you in selecting a physician on the Blood Conservation Medical Panel.
San Ramon Regional Medical Center is a contracted provider of care for a wide variety of health plans, including Medicare. For a list of contracted insurance providers, call (925) 275-8257. Contact your health plan for authorization and referral requirements.
Free seminars on blood conservation directives
We present free seminars several times a year to assist you in completing an Advance Health Care Directive to help ensure you receive no blood or blood products during your procedure. An Advance Health Care Directive is a signed legal document that states certain treatment preferences — such as transfusions — and names the person you want to make medical decisions if you are unable to do so. Both you and the person assigned as your healthcare agent should attend an Advance Directive seminar:
- To make known your choice of non-blood management on the Advance Health Care Directive
- To make sure you understand the terminology, procedures and medical alternatives available for non-blood management so you can make an informed choice
- To protect your federal rights as a patient to make your own decisions regarding your healthcare
For information about future seminars on blood conservation and the Advanced Health Care Directive, call the Blood Conservation office at (925) 275-8244.