Transfusion-Free Medicine and Surgery

Transfusion-Free Medicine and Surgery (TFMS) refers to medical and surgical care without the use of blood transfusion. It involves more than simply not administering blood transfusions to patients. The entire medical team works together implementing strategies specifically designed to improve the outcomes of patients when the use of blood products or blood transfusion is not an option. This approach to care involves careful planning and the use of skillful technique to ensure the best outcome for you, the patient.

How does TFMS work?

TFMS Involves Three Basic Principles

Improve blood levels before surgical or medical treatment

  • Identify and treat anemia (low hemoglobin level).
  • Identify and treat nutritional deficiencies that can cause low blood levels (low levels of iron, folic acid and vitamin B).
  • Identify any bleeding disorders that need correction or management.

Minimize blood loss during treatment

  • Certain medications, natural medicines, herbal and vitamin supplements can increase bleeding or clotting at the time of surgery. Your doctor will determine and discuss what medications to stop before your surgery.
  • Use special equipment to reduce bleeding during surgery.
  • Use surgical and anesthesia techniques to reduce bleeding during surgery.
  • Provide medications to reduce bleeding.
  • Take smaller and less frequent samples for blood testing.

Enhance recovery

  • Use medication and nutritional support to help the body make new blood cells.
  • Use strategies to restore and maintain circulatory volume immediately after large blood loss.
  • Use various non-blood strategies to help the body tolerate anemia.

Planning Ahead

With careful planning, many surgical and medical procedures can be performed and avoid the use of blood transfusions. The medical center takes a proactive approach to care by implementing evidence-based standards to care for the needs of patients when blood is not an option helping to avoid blood transfusion in even the most challenging situations. Below are steps you can take to prepare for medical treatment without the use of blood products or blood transfusions.

  • Complete legal documentation stating your no blood wishes (Advance Directive for Health Care).
  • Determine non-blood treatment options that are acceptable to you.
  • Seek out doctors experienced in implementing transfusion-free methods and strategies.
  • Alert and discuss with your doctors that blood is not an option in your medical or surgical care.
  • Provide the medical center with a copy of any legal documentation stating your no blood requirements (e.g. Advance Directive, Durable Power of Attorney (DPA)).

Contact Information

Whether due to religious beliefs, personal, or medical reasons, there is growing interest in medical and surgical care without the use of blood transfusion. The Transfusion-Free Medicine and Surgery Program at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center can help you prepare for care without the use of blood transfusion.

Working together with your doctor, our clinical team will ensure we evaluate and improve your blood levels before a surgical procedure or obstetrical admission.

We provide health education to help you understand the available non-blood treatment options and complete hospital documentation verifying the non-blood treatment options you have selected. For more information, please call 973-322-2950 to speak with a professional from the Blood Management Institute.