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Blood Conservation

Planning for an Admission or Procedure

Planning Admission or a Procedure at Geisinger Health System?

When you visit your doctor and discuss your admission to the hospital or plan to have a procedure done, ask about blood conservation. You may request to see a blood conservation coordinator yourself. The coordinator will discuss your options with you. There are two choices:

After discussing with the blood conservation coordinator  or your doctor, you decide to build up your blood or optimize your blood prior to admission and not have any blood products or transfusions, or you may decide to build up your blood or optimize your blood prior to admission and accept transfusion when necessary.

You may change your choice at any point during your hospitalization. This is a personal choice.

You will be asked  by the blood conservation coordinator to sign an enrollment form confirming your choice.

How do we OPTIMIZE your blood?

When you decide to come to Geisinger, your doctor should send you to have your blood drawn. This is important because the sooner we can start building your blood up, the better  prepared  you will be for your procedure or admission. A complete blood count and iron studies will be requested. The blood conservation coordinator  will review the results that day and develop a plan of care with you. We want to get your blood count (hemoglobin) as optimal as we can. Just being normal is not good enough.

Your Personal Plan of Care

Based on your blood work results and your past medical history, the blood conservation coordinator  will develop your personal plan of care with your help. Your plan of care may include over the counter medications, such as iron, vitamin C and folic acid, nutritional counseling to improve your iron and vitamin intake, and  stopping medications, herbs and foods that may affect your blood’s ability to clot 7 to 10 days prior to admission.

If your iron levels are low, the coordinator may make arrangements for you to come into the Infusion Center for intravenous iron infusions. The intravenous iron will build your blood up quickly. Repeat  iron studies and complete blood count should be done in about 2 to 7 days. If your iron levels have not improved, the infusions may need to be repeated.

The blood conservation coordinator  will request that you take the blood conservation medications until the day prior to having the procedure. Your doctor should instruct you about your other medications, either to continue or stop the medications, especially your “blood thinners”.

When you come to the hospital, the blood conservation coordinator will give you an identification bracelet letting everyone you come in contact with know that you are a blood conservation patient. This is to assure that we abide to your blood conservation wishes.