Doctors at a New Jersey pioneered a surgery program that ruled out blood transfusions. The program was for patients who denied having blood transfusions because of religious reasons. The doctors were surprised with findings.
Jehovah's Witnesses refused blood transfusions while undergoing cardiac surgery
Jehovah's Witnesses fared as well as patients who received blood transfusions. Besides, in many cases they recovered better.
The doctors said that they suffered fewer post-surgery complications. Moreover, they spent less time on mechanical breathing machines and stayed in intensive care for shorter time period.
Doctors from Cleveland Clinic in Ohio reported that Jehovah's Witnesses were significantly less likely to require another operation for bleeding in comparison to non-Witnesses who were transfused. They were reported to have lesser chances of suffering a post-op heart attack or kidney failure.
Experts said for procedures that involve massive bleed out, blood transfusion could be lifesaving. But they also said that there is a little evidence to suggest which patients are benefitted from blood transfusions.
American Medical Association has identified blood transfusions as among the top five overused procedures in medicine.
"In the minds of many people, blood is life, and giving people blood must help life. But it does not work like that", said a professor of pediatrics at the University of Montreal and a national and international pioneer in pediatric critical care and research.