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Bloodless Surgery Program

US News - Stanford Children's HealthWhen needed, donated blood can be a lifesaver. But a growing number of studies show that young surgery patients who are able to forgo use of donated blood products do better on several fronts:

  • Bloodless surgery patients are more resistant to infection
  • They are less likely to experience adverse immune responses
  • These young surgery patients spend less time recovering

To take best advantage of that insight, the Bloodless Surgery Program at the Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center is perfecting technologies and techniques that help our youngest heart surgery patients thrive. When we can help patients avoid the unnecessary use of blood products, it is better for patient health, better for the emergency blood reserve and better for controlling health care costs.

What to expect

In the weeks leading up to a scheduled surgery, cardiologists can bolster a patient’s blood with iron supplements and medications and preserve red blood cell levels by minimizing the blood drawn for lab tests. During an operation, special “bloodless surgery” steps are taken and special equipment is deployed to minimize loss of a patient’s own blood. By carefully managing fluids and again optimizing blood draws after surgery, any blood loss can be quickly recovered. While these practices are already embraced by patients who, for personal or religious reasons, prefer not to use blood products, the medical benefits are applicable to a much broader population.

Learn more >