A hospital in Pennsylvania has begun offering "bloodless surgery" to almost 90% of its patients, who opt for the procedure. The hospital now joins an ever-growing number of hospitals that are following the programme of bloodless medicine around the country.
This option was once only available to Jehovah's Witnesses but is now provided in certain hospitals to more patients thanks to the advances in equipment and changes in protocols. Many states have bloodless surgery centres or hospitals that perform no-transfusion surgery for Jehovah's Witnesses, who believe the Bible forbids transfusions, but do not do so for the general public.
Bloodless surgery techniques may vary depending on the type of operation, they commonly include efficient heart-lung bypass machines that circulate a patient's blood during surgery, using high-tech scalpels that clot the blood as they cut tissues, or by freezing tissue before it's excised.
Dr. Charles Bridges, the Pennsylvania Hospital cardiologist, said that the notable benefits of this procedure to the patients were reductions in their recovery time, their hospital stay, cost and complications.