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Patient Blood Management and Orthopaedic Surgery

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An Interview with Brian R. Hamlin, MD

Brian R. Hamlin, MD, is Associate Director of The Orthopaedic Program at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. Specializing in the treatment of diseases of the hip and knee.

What techniques are used to limit surgical blood loss and treat patients effectively?

All of my patients are treated within the framework of avoiding the use of blood products. Several techniques are used to lessen the effects of blood loss on one's physiology at the time of surgery.

Preoperatively patients are evaluated for anemia. If anemia is detected, it is treated to lessen the effects of postoperative anemia on one’s recovery. Treatment can include use of Procrit®, iron, and vitamin B12. If severe anemia is detected prior to surgery, an appropriate referral is made to rule out the source of this problem.

A meticulous, but efficient surgical technique is used to lessen the chance of blood loss. When indicated, cell salvage procedures are used to save blood, which is shed at the time of surgery. Additional methods may be used at the time of surgery to help minimize blood loss (tourniquet use, tranexamic acid, and fibrin sealants).

Accurate documentation of patients wishes in regard to what blood products are or are not acceptable to them is performed and recorded appropriately. I appreciate working with UPMC’s Center for Bloodless Medicine to ensure that all clinicians involved in my patients’ care understand their requirements for bloodless surgery accurately.

What is your position on treating patients who refuse blood products?

My position has been to honor and respect my patients’ wishes. I have cared for, and will continue to care for, patients who refuse blood products. I respect their decision and will not attempt to coerce patients into changing their mind in relation to blood product usage.

How can I schedule an evaluation?

Call 412-641-8609 for an evaluation. Patients are seen at The Orthopaedic Program, located on the first floor of Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.