Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

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For more information about the Patient Blood Management Program at UPMC, please contact us at 1-877-674-7111.

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What Is Bloodless Medicine and Surgery?

Bloodless medicine and surgery refers to the care of a patient’s medical and surgical needs without the use of banked blood products.

Can Doctors Perform Serious Procedures Without Blood Transfusions?


Surgeons can perform many procedures without the use of banked blood, such as:

  • Cancer surgeries
  • Heart surgeries
  • Joint replacements
  • Organ transplants

UPMC Presbyterian was the first hospital in the world to perform liver transplants for those who required bloodless medicine and surgery.

How Are Bloodless Surgical Procedures Performed?

Maximizing a person's blood counts prior to surgery is followed by a variety of techniques to decrease surgical blood loss.

Are “Blood Substitutes” Used?

While there has been considerable interest in the idea of artificial blood or blood substitutes, no products of this nature are currently available for use in the United States.

Research and clinical trials are currently being conducted about these products.

Is Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Safe?

There are risks and benefits to both accepting and refusing blood transfusions. Every person's case is different.

Reducing the use of banked blood does limit your potential exposure to blood-borne disease.

Your doctor will discuss the options with you and explain all the risks before any procedure.

Can I Have Bloodless Surgery at UPMC?


UPMC Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Services offers bloodless surgery, as well as guidance and support for bloodless medicine patients and their doctors.

For further information, call the center toll-free at 1-877-674-7111.

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For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

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