Bloodless surgery

Blood samples, right: freshly drawn; left: tre...
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Bloodless surgery is a term that refers to treating patients with non-invasive techniques. This means that no transfer of allogeneic blood is used. Surgeons who carry out bloodless surgery are often referred to as ‘dry surgeons’. In recent times there has been an increase in bloodless surgery for a variety of reasons, one being religious grounds as with Jehovah’s witnesses who reject blood transfusions and also people are becoming increasingly concerned with blood borne diseases such as AIDS.

There are many documented risks with bloodless surgery that have been reported. These risks include: damage to a vital organ, anaemia, tissue hypoxia, uncontrollable haemorrhage, which can lead to anoxic brain injury, myocardial infarction, bowel infarct, lung injury, or kidney failure.

Bloodless surgery is accepted by many doctors because it carries low risk of post-operative infection as opposed to with procedures requiring blood transfusion. It also been proven to be more economically beneficial in some countries due to the high costs to hospitals of blood transfusion operations. Many experts also say that there are far more health risks with blood transfusion operations such as disease and also the recovery rate after bloodless surgery is said to be faster than blood transfusion surgery meaning the patient will spend less time in hospital which is more economically beneficial to them also.

Figures show that the demand for alternative medical procedures is increasing and medical procedures performed without the use of blood are preferable choice by many today. With thousands of people dying every year due to contaminated blood it’s clear to see why bloodless surgery is the people’s choice in the modern word. Eliminating the risk of HIV, hepatitis and AIDS along with other blood borne diseases is appealing to people so the popularity of bloodless surgery is on the up.

Bloodless surgery is very much a modern day process and only began in the early 20th century. It has increased every decade greatly and is particularly popular in America where people there prefer to avoid the transfusion of blood in surgery. Many experts say it will almost be the only sort of surgery in years to come and it is the safest and most economically appropriate way to carry out surgery. There are of course those that are against it, saying it is less effective than standard surgery involving blood transfusion but evidence for this remains to be seen. The general feeling is that bloodless surgery is on the increase and will be ever more present in our societies for many years to come.

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