Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) Patient Blood Management Program is about more than blood – it’s about honoring your needs and choices. We partner with patients, pre-surgery to post-surgery, and bring together a team of experts to ensure every person receives compassionate, leading-edge care.
Compassionate care close to home
Everyone has the right to respectful care given by competent personnel, with recognition of personal dignity. From religious beliefs to health concerns, there are many reasons you might choose to participate in the LVHN Patient Blood Management Program. If you wish to reduce the chance of receiving donated blood and blood derived products, or if you elect a bloodless surgery, we respect your choices and will ensure your procedure and recovery meet your needs.
Whether or not you participate in the Patient Blood Management Program, our surgeons follow current medical best practices to avoid the use of transfused blood unless it is clinically indicated. This has been shown to reduce risks such as transfusion transmitted infections and improve outcomes. The Patient Blood Management Program is a resource for people who would like to build a specialized care program for their specific blood health needs.
What is bloodless surgery?
The term bloodless surgery is used to describe a procedure that does not utilize transfused blood. LVHN offers bloodless surgery options for a variety of procedures.
How is blood conserved?
Each person’s health, surgical procedures and beliefs are different so your path within the Patient Blood Management Program will be customized and designed specifically for you. Your care plan may include an assessment by LVPG Hematology Oncology to ensure you have an optimal level of hemoglobin (a protein responsible for carrying oxygen throughout your body). If you have any existing conditions such as anemia, which is a common reason for low levels of hemoglobin, those will be addressed before your procedure. There are many techniques available to conserve blood during surgical procedures, including:
- Cell salvage – A cell salvage machine collects lost blood and cleans it so that your red blood cells can be reclaimed and returned to you during a surgical procedure.
- Hemodilution – With this technique, a set amount of your blood is drawn before your surgical procedure begins. You are then given a fluid that helps maintain your blood volume. Because remaining blood is thinned with the fluid, red blood cell loss during surgery is reduced. During surgery or immediately after, your drawn blood is given back to you.
- Medications – Medications can be used to help your body optimize the blood you already have and minimize blood loss. Common blood management medications include erythropoietin to increase your body’s production of red blood cells, clotting factors to avoid blood loss and albumin to help maintain pressure in the circulatory system.
Post-surgery, we will continue to offer support during your recovery period. That means when you need a blood test, your care team will only take the minimum amount required to obtain your results.