Southlake's Peri-operative Blood Conservation Program is part of the
Ontario Nurse Transfusion Coordinators Program (ONTraC), which is funded by the
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
The goal of the ONTraC Program is to enhance blood transfusion practices
by promoting alternatives to blood transfusion in surgical patients, and
improving patient care and well-being in a cost-effective manner.
At Southlake, the Peri-operative Blood Conservation Program aims to:
- decrease the need for blood
transfusion during scheduled or elective surgery;
- promote alternatives to
allogeneic (donor) blood transfusion in surgical patients;
- educate patients and their
families, physicians, and staff about the benefits and risks of blood
Currently, Southlake is one of 25 centres throughout Ontario with a
Blood Conservation Coordinator.
Anemia is a medical
term which means that a person does not have enough red blood cells in his/her
body. Red blood cells are important because they contain hemoglobin which
carries oxygen from your lungs to your tissues. Your body needs oxygen in order
to survive and to give you energy. Some types of anemia are temporary and may
be caused by:
- poor diet
- shortage of iron, vitamin
B12, or folic acid in your diet
- blood loss, such as during
menstruation or surgery, or from a bleeding ulcer
- medications which interfere
with your body's ability to produce red blood cells
Other types of anemia are chronic and may last for a long time. The
causes of chronic anemia can include the following:
- cancer and cancer treatment
- chronic diseases, such as
kidney failure or severe arthritis
- inherited blood disorders
How do I know if I am anemic?
The only way for a person to know if he/she is anemic is to have a blood
test to check the red blood cell and hemoglobin levels.
How is anemia treated?
Treatment for anemia depends on the cause. If a person has too little
iron, vitamin B12, or folic acid to make red blood cells work effectively, a
change of diet and use of specific vitamins and/or iron pills may be
recommended. In some cases, injections of a medication that will increase
production of red blood cells may be used.
Why is anemia a
risk in surgery?
If you lose too much blood during surgery, your organs and tissues may
not get enough of the oxygen they need to do their work. As a result, you may
not respond well to surgery and your recovery might be delayed.
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