Bloodless Surgery

Just last week Michiana blood banks were pleading with residents to roll up their sleeves and donate.

Blood supplies were dangerously low and major surgery often requires donated blood.

Dale Reisner decided not to use donor blood during her open heart surgery.

Bloodless surgery used to be mostly requested by Jehovah’s witnesses’.

Now, more than 25-percent of patients asking for no donor blood do so for non-religious reasons.

Studies show transfusions lead to more infections and complications.

"We're probably using blood transfusions too commonly and too regularly and using it for patients who don't need it," says Dr. Lori Heller.

For weeks, Reisner took hormone injections to boost her blood count.

Now, doctors will transfuse her with her own blood during the surgery, if she needs it.

Another way to avoid transfusions during surgery, is a cell salvage machine which collects blood, spins it, washes it, filters it and returns the patient's own red blood cells.

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