Glossary of Terms

Anemia: a low red blood cell count. Red blood cells are the blood component that carry oxygen throughout the body. Since oxygen keeps your cells alive and functioning, a sufficient supply of red blood cells is vital to staying alive.

Advance Directive: a certified legal document that details a patient's choices regarding medical care and end-of-life decisions.

Cell Saver: a method for collecting the blood spills into the chest or abdominal cavity during surgery or into drains after surgery. The blood is collected, filtered and then re-infused back into the patient.

Erythropoietin: Erythropoietin (nickname EPO, trade name Procrit) is a bone marrow stimulant that raises the red blood cell count. When a person becomes anemic (low red blood cell count) the kidney recognizes this and manufactures EPO, which in turn goes into the blood stream and eventually tells the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Procrit is a synthetically produced erythropoietin that, when administered to an anemic patient, kick starts their own bone marrow to produce red blood cells.

Hemodilution: blood conservation strategy employed during surgery whereby the patient’s circulatory system is diluted to minimize blood loss.

Hematopoietic Agents: iron supplements and other medication can be given for several weeks prior to surgery to stimulate the production of red blood cells. These same agents can be used after surgery, if needed, to rebuild the red blood cell count.

Hemostatic Agents: drugs that promote clotting of the blood.

Informed Consent: the absolute legal right to choose or refuse medical treatments that have been explained to you by your doctor. This includes the right to refuse the use of blood once your physician has explained the risks, benefits and alternatives. It also protects the physician from liability since the document is your sworn statement that you are aware of the risks of refusing possible life-saving treatment.

Interventional Cardiology / Radiology: technique to either open up closed blood vessels or close off bleeding vessels through very small holes in the skin.

Laparoscopic Surgery: surgery using small incisions to minimize blood loss.

Medical Directive: An Instructive Directive and Health Care Proxy, most often referred to as a medical directive or proxy, gives you the absolute legal right to informed consent meaning that you can choose or refuse medical treatments that have been explained to you by your doctor. This includes the right to refuse the use of blood once your physician has explained the risks, benefits and alternatives. It also protects the physician from liability since the document is your sworn statement that you are aware of the risks of refusing possible life-saving treatment. Also called Advance Directive or Proxy.

Minimally Invasive Surgery: performing surgery through smaller incisions with the use of scopes for visualization.

Pre-Operative Bone Marrow Stimulation: treatment of anemia (low blood count) with erythropoietin, a drug which boosts red blood cell production in the patient's own bone marrow.

Proxy: An Instructive Directive and Health Care Proxy, most often referred to as a medical directive or proxy, gives you the absolute legal right to informed consent meaning that you can choose or refuse medical treatments that have been explained to you by your doctor. This includes the right to refuse the use of blood once your physician has explained the risks, benefits and alternatives. It also protects the physician from liability since the document is your sworn statement that you are aware of the risks of refusing possible life-saving treatment. Also called Advance Directive or Medical Directive.

Volume expanders: non-blood fluids used to enhance circulation.

 
 


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