Blood Conservation Helps Hospital Patients


Using less blood to treat a patient is actually better than using too much during a transfusion. Good Samaritan Hospital along with other Catholic Health Initiatives centers are leading the way in using less donated blood.

"We found that patients do better with a conservative approach versus an aggressive approach to transfusion," said Good Samaritan Hospital Director of Perfusion Services Todd Stover.

The hospital bought a new machine called "Continuous Auto-Transfusion System" or CATS, which uses less blood and makes the transfusion process go much faster. According to new research, that blood conservation is better for the patient's body.

"The patients that weren't transfused versus the ones who were transfused actually did better with anemia then with getting blood," said Stover.

Stover also points out the changes that happen to red blood cells over time, especially in cold storage.

"The body actually handles anemia better than we thought for probably many years," said Stover. "Blood, hands down is a life-saving therapy, but you don't want to give it unless you have to."

According to some more benefits of blood conservation are decreased length of hospital stays, faster recovery times, decreased risk of infections and a reduction in complications.