For Immediate Release
February 16, 2001
Bloodless medicine continues gaining ground in 2001
Four pencil-hole incisions and 48 hours later, Ronald Jones walked out of Englewood Hospital a new man. Tumors in his kidney had taken their toll on his well-being for over 30 years. Using a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure by which the surgeon can see inside the abdominal cavity without making a large incision, the surgical team encapsulated and removed the damaged kidney, and they didn't use a drop of blood. “I never thought it could be this easy. I feel like I have a new lease on life!” Ron said when it was all over.
Internationally, the number of hospitals that now specialize in bloodless medical treatment has surpassed 200. A decade ago the count was less than ten. The United States is at the forefront of developing this valuable aspect of medical practice, with facilities performing these procedures in nearly every state. Additionally over 29,000 doctors in the United States, over 90,000 around the world, have chosen to hone their skills in applying bloodless methods.
A hospital falls into the category of a bloodless medical center when it has an organized, structured program consisting of a core team of physicians who are dedicated to providing medical treatment without the use of blood transfusions.
For a variety of reasons, doctors and surgeons are more disposed than ever to treat patients without blood. Health care providers now turn to bloodless surgery to ease blood donor shortages, reduce risk of infection, battle blood-borne diseases and cut costs.
Jehovah’s Witnesses primarily refuse blood for religious rather than medical reasons. However, many have acknowledged that this refusal helped avoid contracting many costly and even fatal diseases, such as AIDS and hepatitis.
When a Witness faces a serious medical procedure, he can tap into any of the 121 “hospital liaison committees,” which have some 900 members on call. The objective of the liaison committees is to make information on bloodless medicine available to individuals seeking this form of treatment. They also make articles from professional medical journals and data sheets available to medical personnel who are trying to respect the conscientious stand of the patient. To assist health care providers, each Witness is encouraged to fill out and carry a medical directive and a legal document sometimes referred to as a durable power of attorney (DPA) that reflect his or her personal decisions on medical care.
“Bloodless medicine is the wave of the future,” Ronald Jones says, reflecting on the success of his procedure. “I’m sure I’m just one of millions who will benefit.”
Contact: J. R. Brown, telephone: (718) 560-5600