The Center for Blood Conservation (CBC) at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center celebrated its 10th anniversary in October. The CBC at Grant is the only adult blood conservation center in the region and is dedicated to providing the highest quality care to patients who wish to avoid using donor blood during medical and surgical procedures.
The CBC has worked with a steadily increasing number of patients over the past 10 years, and now averages about 100 patients each month. In FY16, the center served 1,160 patients who did not want to receive blood transfusions or blood products because of religious beliefs or other reasons.
Abby Retterer, MSEd, LSW, program coordinator for the CBC, arranges patient referrals to physicians at Grant and supervises patient admissions and transfers from outside facilities.
“Abby is in constant contact with the blood conservation patients throughout their stay at Grant and helps to ensure their no-blood wishes are followed,” said Norman Smyke, Jr., MD, medical director for the CBC.
The CBC at Grant informs patients of all the no-blood options available and directly involves them in the decision-making process of their care. A.J. Campbell, MD, was one of the first surgeons to work with blood conservation patients at Grant. Now, over 100 Grant physicians participate in the program and are able to use cutting-edge bloodless medicine techniques.
Bloodless medicine or blood conservation leads to better patient outcomes. Blood transfusions carry the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections, immunologic reactions and fluid and iron overload. There is also a higher risk of postoperative complications including bacterial infections, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and blood clots.
“We have achieved a ‘culture change’ at Grant,” said Dr. Smyke. “Associates are educated about blood conservation and understand patients’ no-blood wishes.”
Moving forward, a goal of the CBC at Grant is to educate more patients and healthcare professionals in the community about the program and available no-blood options. Dr. Smyke says the center also wants to continue to reduce the amount of blood products needed by all patients, including patients who will accept blood transfusions. This ensures patients are receiving the best care possible.