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Bloodless Cardiac Surgery: Not Just Possible, But Preferable

Putney, Leeann J. MSN, RN, CCRN-CSC

doi: 10.1097/01.CNQ.0000278927.44691.8c

Blood transfusions after cardiac surgery are very common, and the rates are highly variable among institutions. Transfusion carries the risk of infectious and noninfectious hazards and is often clinically unnecessary. This article discusses the history of bloodless cardiac surgery, the hazards of transfusion, the benefits of reducing or eliminating transfusion, and strategies to conserve blood. It also provides a list of resources for those who are interested in learning more about bloodless care.

From the Open Heart Recovery Unit, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Sarasota, Fla.

Corresponding author: Leeann J. Putney, MSN, RN, CCRN-CSC, 5790 Stone Pointe Dr, Sarasota, FL 34233 (e-mail:

The author thanks Elaine Slocumb, PhD, RN, of the University of South Florida for assistance with editing and guidance in the creation of the manuscript.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.