We present 128 surgical patients out of a total of 161, who entered the care program without the use of blood or blood products between January 1999 and October 2002 at the Hospital Clínico de la University of Chile. Patients were classified into 3 groups (low, medium and high risk) according to the possibility of being transfused, based on preoperative pathology, Hct and Hb and the risk of surgical bleeding. In principle, surgical medical care programs without the use of blood or blood products were initiated in response to the refusal to be transfused by the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious group. In its development it was proved that the levels of tolerance of anemia are greater than previously supposed, and that the use of transfusion in many cases was not clearly indicated, and in other cases was disproportionate.
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