Blood Conservation

Surgery Without Blood Transfusion, Bloodless Surgery

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At Duke Health, we provide high-quality health care while respecting your personal beliefs. The Duke Center for Blood Conservation offers safe and effective techniques that decrease or eliminate the need for blood products. We provide alternatives for people undergoing surgery or medical procedures who do not want blood transfusions because of religious, medical, or personal reasons. 

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Duke University Hospital

Plan your visit to Duke University Hospital in Durham, NC.

Avoiding the Need for Blood Products

More and more, people are seeking safe, effective alternatives to blood transfusion when they require surgery or other types of medical care. We respect your views and offer innovative treatment options that minimize blood loss and help you safely avoid the need for blood products including red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Research shows that reducing the need for blood transfusion can lower your risk for infection, shorten your hospital stay, and help you recover faster. 

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Why Choose Duke

Support for Your Decisions
You meet one-on-one with our doctors, nurses, and staff to discuss your medical and surgical treatment options. We help you choose an approach that's right for you.

Innovative Techniques
Our experts use a variety of blood conservation techniques to reduce or eliminate the need for a blood transfusion. They include:

  • Acute normovolemic hemodilution, which increases the fluid content of the blood and saves your own blood cells to be returned to you at the end of surgery, when the risk of bleeding has decreased
  • Argon beam, which coagulates blood at the bleeding site during surgery
  • Cell saver, which cleans and returns your own blood cells continually during surgery
  • Electro-cauterization, which uses heat to stop vessels from bleeding
  • Harmonic scalpel, which uses mechanical energy to coagulate blood and cut tissue
  • Adjuvant medications including medications like erythropoietin (stimulates bone marrow to make more red blood cells) and other drugs that help the blood clot

Access to Clinical Trials
Our doctors participate in numerous clinical trials aimed at improving treatments options for people who request care without the use of blood products. You may have the opportunity to participate in our ongoing clinical trials to test these approaches before they become widely available.

Commitment to Safety and Satisfaction
Our Blood Conservation program has been carefully designed to comply with our hospital policies, guidelines, and protocols. We are committed to your safety and satisfaction in every aspect of the care we provide.

Special Expertise
Patient blood management (PBM) and caring for people undergoing medical procedures without blood transfusion requires special expertise, precise monitoring, the latest equipment, and innovative techniques. Our multidisciplinary team includes highly skilled surgeons, anesthesiologists, hematologists, intensivists, perfusionists, and nursing staff who will take care of you and your special needs every step of the way.

Complex Surgical Care
We work closely with Duke doctors and surgeons in orthopaedics, neurosurgery, cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, cancer, and other specialties. They are highly trained to use PBM techniques during complex procedures.

Pre-Surgical Anemia Referrals
You may be referred to our program to reduce your risk for developing anemia and to help treat anemia before or after surgery.

Pre-Operative Consultation
If you are interested in learning more about PBM at Duke University Hospital, call the Center for Blood Conservation at 919-668-2467 to schedule a consultation. The doctors linked to this page are just a few of those with particular experience and interest in blood conservation techniques. Blood Conservation staff are also able to help you to find an appropriate specialist to care for your needs.

Consistently Ranked Among the Nation’s Best Hospitals

Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why we are once again recognized as the best hospital in North Carolina, and nationally ranked in 11 adult and 9 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report for 2023–2024.

This page was medically reviewed on 01/23/2023 by