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Transfusion-Free Medicine

At Saint Agnes Medical Center, we are committed to meeting the specialized needs of each patient. We understand that some patients require or prefer the option of therapy without blood transfusions.

Our Transfusion-Free Medicine and Surgery Program meets that need. Using an integrated team approach, our highly skilled surgeons, anesthesiologists, hematologists and pathologists along with other specialists and support staff combine to produce this invaluable new facet of patient care. In brief, our goal is to minimize blood loss, maximize oxygen delivery and increase the patient's blood production.

What is transfusion-free medicine and surgery?

Transfusion-free medicine and surgery is a state-of-the-art approach to managing diseases and conditions. Specifically, a transfusion-free program utilizes a variety of techniques and resources to minimize blood loss, and to salvage and re-infuse as much of a patient's own blood as is possible, thus ensuring maximum oxygen delivery to the cells and organs. It also involves the use of pharmaceuticals such as recombinant erythropoietin and thrombopoietin to maximize blood production - essentially using the patient's own body as a blood bank.

Saint Agnes provides this program as an option for patients who wish to avoid the use of donor blood during medical and surgical procedures. Some patients hold a religious conviction that prevents them from receiving blood transfusions. Others feel more comfortable knowing that with transfusion-free techniques, they avoid the risk of blood borne illnesses such as hepatitis or HIV. Whatever the reason, we respect this decision and are delighted to offer the San Joaquin Valley's first adult Transfusion-Free Medicine and Surgery Program.

Thanks to advances in equipment, techniques and technology, Saint Agnes Medical Center can safely and successfully provide non-blood medical and surgical care for a variety of specialties such as, but not limited to:

  • Cancer/cancer surgery
  • Cardiology/cardiovascular surgery
  • Gastroenterology
  • General surgery
  • Gynecological surgery
  • Hematology
  • Intensive care management
  • Neurosurgery
  • Obstetrics
  • Orthopedics
  • Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat)
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • Urologic surgery
  • Vascular surgery

Transfusion-Free Medicine and Surgery reduces blood loss by:

  • Enhancing volume and circulation of a patient's own blood through intravenous fluids called volume expanders.
  • Utilizing the pharmaceutical recombinant erythropoietin and other drugs to stimulate the production of the patient's own blood supply.
  • Salvaging, filtering and recirculating the patient's blood in a continuous cycle using an advanced cell saver system.
  • Accelerating blood clotting during surgery through the use of mechanical and pharmaceutical methods.
  • Tracking oxygen levels with non-invasive skin monitors before, during and after surgery.
  • Using techniques to lower the patient's blood pressure and temperature during surgery

About the Program Manager

The Transfusion-Free Medicine and Surgery Program offers 24-hour access to the Program Manager. Our manager is trained and experienced as a facilitator in all aspects of transfusion-free medicine and surgery. The manager's goal is to ensure the highest quality of medical care while respecting your individual choices regarding specific medical procedures. The manager will work with you directly to see that your needs are understood and accommodated by our staff.

Educational Materials

To learn more about the Transfusion-Free Medical and Surgical Program at Saint Agnes, call (559) 450-3357 or via transfusionfree@samc.com.

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©  2014 

Saint Agnes Medical Center | 1303 E. Herndon Ave. Fresno, CA 93720 | 559-450-3000