Worldwide Reports

Management of patients who refuse blood transfusion

Chand NK | Indian Journal of Anaesthesia |
Vijayanagara Institute of Medical Sciences
Karnataka, India

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Abstract

A small group of people belonging to a certain religion, called Jehovah’s witness do not accept blood transfusion or blood products, based on biblical readings. When such group of people are in need of health care, their faith and belief is an obstacle for their proper treatment, and poses legal, ethical and medical challenges for attending health care provider. Due to the rapid growth in the membership of this group worldwide, physicians attending hospitals should be prepared to manage such patients. Appropriate management of such patients entails understanding of ethical and legal issues involved, providing meticulous medical management, use of prohaemostatic agents, essential interventions and techniques to reduce blood loss and hence, reduce the risk of subsequent need for blood transfusion. An extensive literature search was performed using search engines such as Google scholar, PubMed, MEDLINE, science journals and textbooks using keywords like ‘Jehovah’s witness’, ‘blood haemodilution’, ‘blood salvage’ and ‘blood substitutes’.

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