Since 1998, Allegheny Health Network's Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery (CBMS) at Allegheny General Hospital has provided quality healthcare for patients who request treatment without the use of blood or blood products.
Whether due to religious convictions or concerns over the safety of blood transfusions, a growing number of people in our country are expressing an interest in bloodless medicine programs. AGH's comprehensive center is a national leader, providing highly complex surgical procedures, such as organ transplantation, brain, vascular, gynecological, cardiac, orthopedic and gastrointestinal surgery, without the necessity of transfusion.
The center relies on the expertise of physicians and other healthcare professionals who keep abreast of current developments in transfusion-free medicine in order to provide skilled, respectful care to all patients.
Why choose a Bloodless Medicine Center?
Allegheny Health Network recognizes the need for a multi-disciplinary team approach to Bloodless Medicine and Surgery. Instead of just individual physicians working with patients, a coordinated approach is established. The Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery at Allegheny General Hospital offers the following benefits:
- A Patient Coordinator. This hospital employee's job includes making sure that your wishes are clearly understood by all members of the medical staff. They will likely meet with you early in your hospital stay to spell out exactly what you desire. They are then a resource to the staff both in understanding your wishes and in coordinating with physicians and services in the hospital so as to meet your needs.
Coordinators are available to the rest of the medical staff on a continuous basis and serve as a valuable resource to the medical team. The Bloodless Medicine Coordinator is your personal advocate for receiving bloodless care. These coordinators have the connections and experience to help you find suitable physicians to meet your needs.
- Physicians Experienced in Bloodless Medicine and Surgery. The primary group of patients who categorically refuse transfusions are Jehovah's Witnesses. This group numbers less than one percent of the general population. As such, statistically speaking the average physician not associated with a Center for Bloodless Medicine may go many months or even years without treating one of these patients.
Since many patients who are Jehovah's Witnesses choose to have their care at a Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery, these Centers in turn are much more experienced in meeting their needs. This gives all of the staff, not just a few individually 'cooperative' surgeons, greater experience which can be applied in your care.
- A Culture of Bloodless Medicine. Over time a Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery will affect the culture of an institution. As the hospital meets the challenges of caring for patients who refuse transfusion, it may begin to take pride in their ability to provide higher level of care for these patients, creating a welcoming atmosphere. Appreciative patients reinforce this cycle. Patients in a mature Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery often note that the way their needs are met surpasses their expectations.