Navigate Up

Patient Blood Management and Cardiac Surgery

UPMC On Topic Transcript

Blood Management

Chris Cook, MD


Blood management is a comprehensive series of steps that we take preoperatively, in the operating room, and even postoperatively to manage the patient’s blood in order to avoid blood transfusion whenever possible.

Individualized Care

The blood management strategy is individualized for every patient. This begins preoperatively by assessing the level of anemia that that patient might have and taking into consideration what operation they might need. We might be able to delay their operation in order to optimize their blood status. Intraoperatively we do a whole series of steps to try to limit blood loss and even salvage the patient’s blood. Postoperatively we also take transfusion into consideration by limiting the number of blood draws that we do and also considering that patients can often tolerate a much lower blood level than we traditionally once thought.

Blood Management Team

So many people feel that it’s simply up to the surgeon to make the decisions about the patient’s blood management. However, there’s a whole team of people who are involved in the decision beginning with the phlebotomists, the perfusionists, the anesthesiologists, and even the nurses.

Benefits For All Surgical Patients

At UPMC we have a center for bloodless medicine and surgery for those patients who decline transfusion. But because of the benefits we know of avoiding transfusion we apply these strategies to all patients who undergo surgery at UPMC.

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences | Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit

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.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA |