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Jan. 7, 2011 | Volume 22, No. 1

Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery opens at UPMC Passavant

The Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery at UPMC Passavant has been established to care for patients who are unable to accept blood transfusions for religious or ethical reasons or out of concern for blood safety.

The center offers guidance to physicians and their patients on appropriate blood management strategies. UPMC is a leader in this field, and the center operates in collaboration with the systemwide Blood Management Committee.

In addition, the center is positioned to provide consultations for the development of treatment plans for patients who are Jehovah’s Witnesses or members of other religious denominations that refuse blood products.

“Physicians at all UPMC facilities are invited to use the resources of the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery to accurately assess the specific wishes of their patients who decline transfusions. A consult by the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery also can assure such patients that their refusal of transfusions will be addressed with dignity and respect,” says Perry Doebler, the center’s director.

Blood management strategies and techniques offered include:

• Preoperative correction of anemia. The use of nutrition, iron, vitamins, and pharmaceutical agents often can address anemia in patients requiring elective surgery.
• Intraoperative blood cell recovery and reinfusion. This technology is used to capture blood lost during surgery, clean it, and reinfuse it to the patient.
• Hemodilution. Blood is removed during surgery, replaced with intravenous fluids, and returned to the patient with the goal of reducing or eliminating the need for transfusions.
• Minimally invasive surgery and electrocautery. Smaller incisions and surgical instruments reduce blood loss.
• Thrombin and adhesives. Human-derived and synthetic products can support the body’s ability to clot and reduce bleeding.

Joint replacements, cancer surgeries, cardiac procedures, and organ transplants can be performed without the use of banked blood. Reducing the use of banked blood not only limits the patient’s potential exposure to blood-borne disease, but also helps to ensure adequate blood supplies for use in other patients.
Coordinators at the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery may be contacted at 412-630-7677 or


Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery hosts seminar series
The public and health care providers are invited to attend a free seminar series entitled, “Jehovah’s Witnesses, Understanding Your Durable Power of Attorney.” A question-and-answer session will address matters of conscience and their impact on durable powers of attorney.


Upcoming seminar dates and locations are:

Saturday, Jan. 8
1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
UPMC Passavant–Cranberry
Second Floor Conference Room

Saturday, Jan. 22
1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
UPMC Passavant–McCandless
Assembly Hall

Saturday, Feb. 5
1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
UPMC Passavant–Cranberry
Second Floor Conference Room

Visit the online schedule for a complete listing of upcoming seminar dates and locations.


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