There are a number of tools in the bag, as Dr. Pool likes to say, when it comes to combating bleeding in the context of heart surgery. Dr. Pool asks that you carefully consider which tools you are willing to accept and which ones you are not willing to accept.
Whole blood and red blood cell transfusion are declined by most JW patients. It is important to confirm with Dr. Pool that you would not accept whole blood or red blood cells under any circumstance, even if it meant you would not survive.
Most cardiac operations require use of the heart and lung machine (CPB), which takes the patient's blood out of the body and puts oxygen into the blood, and then returns the blood to the body.
Many JW patients are willing to accept CPB circuit blood, because it is the patient's own blood, and because the blood is never fully out of contact with the body.
Another tool used in heart surgery is the CellSaver. The CellSaver suctions blood from the chest and concentrates the blood, which is then returned to the body.
Many JW patients are willing to accept CellSaver.
Platelets can be used to help with bleeding. Platelets are derived from blood. Many JW patients decline platelet transfusion but a few accept platelets.
Plasma can be used to help with bleeding. Plasma is derived from blood. Many JW patients decline plasma transfusion but a few accept plasma.
Cryoprecipitate can be used to help with bleeding. Many JW patients decline cryo transfusion but some accept cryo.
Albumin can be used to help with bleeding. Many JW patients accept the administration of albumin.
Factor VII can be used to help with bleeding. Factor VII can be made synthetically and not derived from blood. Many JW patients accept the administration of Factor VII.
If you are considering a heart operation and refuse blood transfusion according to your religious convictions, Dr. Pool would be happy to discuss these considerations with you and would encourage you to discuss these matters at length with your family and your faith leaders.