Providing Hemostatic and Blood Conservation Options for Jehovah's Witness Patients in a Large Medical System

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People of the Jehovah's Witness faith believe that they shall “abstain from blood.” Because of this belief, we encounter the challenges from Jehovah's Witness patients who actively seek medical care for themselves and their children, but refuse the transfusion of blood products, which may result in increased morbidity and mortality in this patient population. With the development/availability of new hemostatic/coagulation products and the advances in medical technology, we, in collaboration with our clinical colleagues and our local Jehovah's Witness leadership, have developed a clinical guideline comprising medical protocol and surgical strategy for patients refusing blood products. Included in the medical protocol is an informative handout on related details to help treating physicians and patients make informed decisions about transfusion alternatives. Together, we have entered the medical protocol into the entire Memorial Hermann Hospital's electronic system. We report the detailed development and implementation process in order to share our experience and encourage others to develop their own management plan for this patient population.

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