Patient Story: Bloodless Medicine Respects Beliefs without Sacrificing Results

bloodless medicine and surgery

Thanks to MedStar Franklin Square’s Bloodless Medicine and Surgery program, Amanda Bass had the hip surgery she needed to ‘shop til she drops’ again.

Safe Technologies Minimize Risk of Blood Loss During Hip Surgery

Before she met the Bloodless Medicine and Surgery team at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, 53-year-old Amanda Bass, a resident of Newark, Delaware, and a Jehovah’s Witness, felt hopeless about her hip pain. She had tolerated the pain for more than six years; afraid to have the hip replacement surgery she desperately needed because her religious beliefs prohibited her from receiving any blood or blood products during surgery.

Her outlook changed in early 2015, when she was referred to MedStar Franklin Square’s Bloodless Medicine and Surgery program. She first spoke to Jeong Chae, a patient clinical coordinator. “He heard the stress in my voice and told me I’d be in good hands,” Bass recalls. “That immediately put me at ease, and it was all wonderful from there.”

Why Choose Bloodless Medicine?

Available since 1997, MedStar Franklin Square has one of the longest-standing bloodless medicine programs. The program’s skilled medical staff is dedicated to meeting the individual needs of its patients by using safe, state-of-the-art technologies that minimize blood loss and maximize the blood’s oxygen-carrying capabilities.

Beyond choosing bloodless medicine for religious reasons, patients may prefer a bloodless approach because research has shown that it offers faster recovery time, avoids blood-borne infections and decreases the risk of complications.

The physicians and other staff in this program have a deep respect for each patient’s wishes, providing high quality medical care that respects the individual’s personal or religious convictions and medical preferences.

Bloodless Hip Replacement Goes Smoothly

bloodless medicine and surgery program
Amanda Bass shows off her purchases now that she is back on her feet without pain.

Bass was referred to David Gold, MD, a MedStar Orthopaedic Institute surgeon and medical director of Joint Replacement Surgery at MedStar Franklin Square. “Mrs. Bass had been through all of the conservative treatments, such as physical therapy and medications, without improvement,” he states. “I assured her we’ve done bloodless procedures on many, many patients over the years and could offer her the same success.”

Before surgery, Dr. Gold can undertake a number of measures to build up a patient’s blood count if it’s low. “We use an extensive checklist to carefully ask patients before surgery what they will allow,” he explains. “We carefully control their blood pressure and use transexamic acid before surgery to prevent excessive blood loss.”

He continues, “Our chief of anesthesiology is on board with the bloodless program, and usually administers spinal rather than general anesthesia. We have a special drainage system that can re-infuse the patient’s own blood after cleaning and filtering it in a self-contained unit. We also use a newer cauterization technique during surgery that can limit blood loss.”

Dr. Gold notes, “Everything went smoothly during Mrs. Bass’ procedure, and she lost very little blood. She had no lightheadedness following surgery—which would have indicated anemia—and she had excellent pain relief. We do careful pre-op planning and intraoperative management to avoid problems. The nurses, physician assistants and surgical techs here are a key part of my team and a big part of our success.”

The bloodless medicine and surgery teams assist patients throughout the entire process, working with physicians and departments to ensure the best care for patients requesting nonblood management.

Getting Her Independence Back

Bass couldn’t be more thrilled with her experience, explaining, “All of my doctors were really great— very knowledgeable and caring. Dr. Gold was a gem. He took care of me every step of the way. It helped me heal quickly.”

A few weeks after having her left hip replaced, Bass was walking around the house every day and was able to return to work a few months later. “I can’t believe I bounced back so quickly! It felt a bit tight but I had no pain,” she marvels. “Now my right hip is acting up. This time, I won’t wait so long to get it repaired!”

Best of all, Bass has her life back. She exclaims, “Before my surgery, it was a chore to shop for groceries or clothes, and I needed to have someone with me. That meant I had to plan everything. Now, I have my independence back. I can go up and down stairs again. I can take my grandchildren to the park myself. I can entertain my friends again for game night, and I can even go dancing, bowling and play pool again!”

Contact Information

To find a bloodless medicine specialist or to receive latest newsletters and notice of upcoming events, please either call 443-777-7793 or email     [email protected].

Doctors and medical staff, please page us on the Bloodless Medicine pager,410-932-8241, or call 443-777-7793.

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