North Bay Regional Health Centre is one of 25 hospitals across the Province to have a Peri-Operative Blood Conservation Program. This program is funded through the Ministry of Health and Long Term care as the Ontario Nurse Transfusion Coordinators Program under the direction of St Michaels Hospital. The Ontario Nurse Transfusion Coordinators Program is a Provincial Blood Conservation Program that attempts to enhance transfusion practice by promoting alternatives to donor blood transfusion in surgical patients, improving patient care and safety in a cost-effective manner.
Patients are usually seen four to six weeks before their surgery.
The aim of the Peri-operative Blood Conservation Program is to:
- decrease the need for blood transfusion during scheduled or elective surgery;
- promote alternatives to donor blood transfusion in surgical patients;
- educate patients and their families, physicians, and staff about the benefits and risks of blood transfusion.
Patients may benefit from blood conservation strategies, if:
- they are scheduled for surgery which is commonly associated with high blood loss;
- they have a low hemoglobin count before surgery
- their body weight is under 55 kg;
- they refuse blood and/or blood products for religious or other reasons.
Many blood transfusions associated with elective surgery can be avoided through advanced planning and preparation, if there is sufficient time before surgery. A plan can be developed according to the patients’ individual needs.
Studies show that hospitals with a blood conservation program had lower transfusion rates than hospitals without the program.