Peripartum Care of the Jehovah’s Witness Patient

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Postpartum hemorrhage is a leading cause of maternal mortality. Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) refuse allogeneic blood transfusion, and thus treatment of hemorrhagic complications in this patient population is complex. Recognition and respect for religious beliefs are essential when caring for the JW parturient and several ethical and legal considerations must be taken into account. Interdisciplinary teamwork and communication as well as active patient participation are critical in the decision-making process for JW patients. Various techniques and technologies are available to optimize red blood cell mass, minimize bleeding, increase tolerance to anemia and support multiorgan derangements derived from antepartum and postpartum hemorrhage.

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