The Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery has many success stories to share. Described below are a few examples of the types of conditions that have been successfully treated through the program:
Ron Padgett of Parsippany said it was his wife Theresa's idea that she might make a suitable kidney donor for him. On dialysis for almost a year, a transplant was the only option for his failing kidneys. "My wife actually had to convince me that she might be able to donate her kidney to me," said Mr. Padgett.
Once the necessary tests were done to see if Theresa's kidney would be a good match for her husband, the Padgetts still faced one more obstacle: finding a hospital that could perform the kidney transplant using bloodless medicine techniques. As Jehovah's Witnesses, the Padgetts do not accept blood transfusions, which left them with limited choices as to a facility that would perform a nephrectomy and a transplant in a bloodless fashion.
"There were hospitals in the area that performed kidney transplants or had bloodless medicine and surgery programs, but we needed one that did both," said Theresa. "Then we learned about Hackensack University Medical Center."
With the only nationally accredited Bloodless Medicine & Surgery program on the East coast and as a state-designated kidney transplant center, the medical center stood poised to give the Padgetts what they needed.
Michael Shapiro, M.D., chief of the Transplant Surgery Section for Renal Transplantation in the Department of Surgery, said a bloodless transplant is not that different from a traditional transplant. "A kidney transplant by its very nature tends to be a bloodless procedure," said Dr. Shapiro. "We use a traditional incision, instead of doing the donor procedure laparoscopically, to ensure access if there are problems." Dr. Shapiro said they kept a cell-saver, a machine that recycles the patient's own blood, nearby just in case.
Jay Rosen, M.D. Department of Urology, headed the team responsible for removing Theresa's kidney for transplantation into Ron.
"In a living donor situation we are dealing with essentially a healthy individual, so keeping the surgery as simple and complication-free is paramount," said Dr. Rosen. "With any procedure there is no room for error and that is doubly true with a bloodless procedure where you are unable to compromise a patient's wishes to keep it transfusion-free."
Dr. Rosen added that while the bloodless nephrectomies and transplants at Hackensack University Medical Center have been completed using a traditional incision. He believes over time and with more experience there isn't any reason they can't be done in a more non-invasive manner. All follow up visits with Dr. Shapiro indicate that the kidney transplant has been successful to date.
Infant Brain Surgery
Mr. And Mrs. O were celebrating the arrival of their fourth child when, just prior to discharge from the hospital where he was born, it was discovered that the ventricles in his brain were not draining properly. The doctors knew that he needed surgery but were hesitant to operate on the newborn because of the family’s religious beliefs prohibiting blood transfusions. Mr. and Mrs. O called the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery, which in turn contacted Dr. Arno Fried, pediatric neurosurgeon, who readily agreed to operate on the baby without blood transfusions. A transfer to Hackensack University Medical Center was arranged. The parents’ fears were calmed when they realized that Dr. Fried had extensive experience with bloodless surgery. The surgery was successfully performed without blood. The family has nothing by thanks for the doctors and staff at the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center. And we are grateful that we were able to help.
Mitral Valve Prolapse — Cardiac Surgery
Mr. T. from upstate New York was hospitalized near his home after feeling short of breath. A diagnosis of mitral valve prolapse was made. The physicians told Mr. T. that they would not be willing to operate without blood transfusions. Family members of Mr. T, who live in New York City, told him about Hackensack University Medical Center and its Center for Bloodless Medicine.
Mr. T. has a consultation with Dr. John Alexander who agreed immediately to operate without blood. Surgery to repair the valve was successful. Mr. T. wrote to us regarding his experience, saying, “The experience you have from other cases made my case and what I had to go through very easy.”
The Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery has received many letters from satisfied patients.
“As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I was especially thankful to be a patient of the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery. It meant the world to me to know that my rights and dignity would be respected and that the best techniques — without the use of blood — were available.”
Rose Marie Loccke
“(When our daughter was diagnosed with a kidney tumor) we naturally wanted to seek the most qualified physician to do the procedure, but also wanted the surgery to be performed without the use of blood for religious reasons. Embolize the bleeding tumor first to minimize blood loss eliminated the blood supply to almost the entire tumor while saving the kidney. The skill and technique employed…saved (our daughter’s) life and eliminated the need for invasive surgery.
Like anyone naturally would, we wanted the highest quality of medical care that could be provided. We feel that the physicians, nurses and technicians of Hackensack University Medical Center provided world class medicine and at the same time showed respect for our religious beliefs by treating the patient with state-of-the-art techniques without the use of blood.”
My husband and I wanted you to know how grateful we are to you for the care you gave to our precious son. We appreciate that at such a critical time you respectfully upheld our beliefs regarding blood transfusions and that you took such good care of our son…because of our feelings, we would recommend the Bloodless Medicine and Surgery program.
Cameron and Libby Ove
“…my gratitude and appreciation for the high quality care provided when everything else failed in treating my condition. When I needed an embolization of the uterine artery, the (doctors and Interventional Radiology staff) were very professional, informative and supportive…I was very grateful that they saved my life. I can only hope that other individuals can benefit from this new technique.”