Major surgeries with no blood, for both Jehovah’s Witnesses and others? Post-operative patients who don’t need transfusion because of massive blood draws? These things are not only possible, they are happening right now, and Dr. Steve Frank, Medical Director of the Johns Hopkins Bloodless Medicine Program, is here to discuss the essentials of patient blood management carried to the extreme!

Dr. Steven Frank

When we consider the idea of “bloodless medicine,” Jehovah’s Witnesses immediately spring to mind. This group, of course, has a religious-based prohibition against receiving blood donated by someone else. However, bloodless medicine is a growing field, with far more people interested than just Jehovah’s Witnesses! Steve Frank’s center evaluates over 2000 patients every year for surgery and other procedures without blood transfusion, and he is here to share experiences and practical tips!

Just What IS “Bloodless Medicine?”

Bloodless medicine, according to Dr. Frank, is nothing more than “Patient blood management carried to the extreme.” It involves careful pre-operative planning as well as intraoperative and postoperative interventions. In this interview, Dr. Frank first describes his views of the essentials of patient blood management, then outlines aspects specific to bloodless medicine.

This episode is presented as part of an informal, education-based collaboration to further discussion on patient blood management with the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management (SABM).

Blood saves lives when you need it,
but only increases risks and costs when you don’t!

Steven Frank, MD

About My Guest:

Dr. Steven M. Frank is a professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His area of clinical expertise is anesthesia for vascular, thoracic and transplant surgery, and he is an expert in blood conservation methods. Dr. Frank serves as medical director for the Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program. He is also director of the Interdisciplinary Blood Management Program and of Perioperative Blood Management Services at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Frank received his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, where he also earned his medical degree. He completed his residency in anesthesiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and performed a fellowship in vascular, thoracic and transplant anesthesiology, also at Johns Hopkins. Among his many professional activities, Dr. Frank serves on the board of directors for the Society for Advancement of Blood Management and is an editorial board member for the International Journal of Clinical Transfusion. He was named Teacher of the Year in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine in 2012 and is a member of a number of professional organizations including the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the American Association of Blood Banks, the Society for Advancement of Blood Management.

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DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this episode are those of my guest and I alone, and do not reflect those of the organizations with which either of us is affiliated. Dr. Frank discloses that he has received consulting fees from Haemonetics and Medtronic. Dr. Chaffin has no relevant financial disclosures.

Further Reading:

Watch Dr. Frank introduce the Johns Hopkins Bloodless Medicine Program.

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