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Frequently Asked Questions

What is bloodless care?

It is an intensive program of medical care in which medical and surgical problems are treated without the use of blood.

Why would someone choose bloodless care?

There are a variety of reasons someone might refuse a blood transfusion. The total avoidance of blood transfusions is a matter of religious belief or personal conviction among some patients. Others may wish to avoid the use of donor blood to minimize the risk of blood-borne infections and prevent immune system suppression.

How can you perform surgery without blood?

With careful planning and preparation. Certain types of medication and iron supplements can be given for a few weeks prior to surgery to stimulate the production of more red blood cells. During surgery, blood can be conserved by using meticulous techniques and state-of-the-art surgical instruments to stop or prevent excessive bleeding. In many cases, blood lost during a surgical procedure can be salvaged and recycled.

Is this a safe alternative?

In most cases, transfusions can be safely avoided. Experts are finding that patients are able to tolerate and safely recover from much lower blood counts than previously thought.

Is our country's blood supply unsafe?

In the United States, donor blood is tested for several infectious diseases. However, there are other infectious agents that are not screened. Furthermore, introducing donor blood into your system can suppress your body’s immune system and make infection more likely.

Will my insurance cover the cost of bloodless treatment?

Chapman Medical Center accepts many forms of insurance and we will gladly work with others to arrange for care on a case by case basis.

What if I am in an accident and require emergency treatment or surgery?

Make sure you are taken to a facility with a bloodless medicine program like the Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program at Chapman Medical Center. If you can speak for yourself, tell EMS, emergency room personnel, admitting personnel, nurses etc. about your choice for bloodless medical care. If you are at Chapman Medical Center, our Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program’s Coordinator will be alerted to your admission and will visit with you to make sure your wishes are documented.

What if I cannot speak for myself in an emergency situation?

Tell your friends, relatives, co-workers, anyone who may be in a position to speak on your behalf. Put your wishes in writing in the form of an Advance Health Care Directive. Make sure several people have a copy of this. You may also choose to carry a card that clearly states your wishes in an obvious location, for example attached to your driver’s license. Chapman’s Bloodless Medicine and Surgery staff can help you create an advance directive if you do not have one.

Do I need to create a new Advance Health Care Directive each time I’m admitted to the hospital?

No, simply alert the staff that you already have an Advance Health Care Directive.

Will you provide bloodless treatment for my child?

Yes, with the consent of a legal guardian. Physicians at Chapman Medical Center have agreed to explore and exhaust all non-blood alternatives in the treatment of children. However, California State law may require physicians to administer blood transfusions to minors if the transfusion is judged necessary to prevent immediate death or loss of function of a major organ.

If I choose bloodless care, can I change my mind at a later date?

Yes, participation in the bloodless program is completely voluntary and you may withdraw at any time.

How do I withdraw from the program if I wish?

Alert any of the hospital medical staff to your decision. You may be asked to sign a form called “Consent to Blood Transfusion.”

Why should I choose the Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program at Chapman Medical Center?

Our patients are treated with an individualized level of care that is tailored to their specific medical needs. Our Bloodless Medicine Program Coordinators are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions or assist patients. Our Chapman Medical Center physicians are committed to respecting your wishes for bloodless care and represent a full range of medical and surgical disciplines.

How can I obtain more information?

Call our toll-free number (800) 970-9470 to speak with a coordinator.