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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are all transfusion-free medical procedures safe?

    Thanks to advances in equipment and technology, physicians and surgeons can safely and successfully perform a multitude of procedures, ranging from routine tonsillectomies to complex orthopedic and open-heart surgeries, without using blood transfusions.

  • Will my own pre-donated blood be used?

    No. Although this option is available, the program’s goal is to avoid the use of donated blood, even your own.

  • Am I a candidate for transfusion-free medicine

    Anyone who objects for any reason to the use of blood products, or simply prefers to avoid blood or blood products, is a potential candidate for transfusion-free medicine. The final decision may depend on your health and the nature of the procedure you are having; you and your provider can make the final decision together.

  • Does insurance cover bloodless procedures the same as traditional procedures

    Most likely. Transfusion-free procedures do not involve additional costs, and may even cost less since any complications from a blood transfusion are avoided.

  • Can all providers perform transfusion-free medical and surgical procedures

    No, performing bloodless procedures requires special training. All of the physicians participating in Virginia Mason Franciscan Health’s program have a high level of expertise in bloodless or transfusion-free procedures and a personal desire to help individuals requesting non-blood medical management. If you are looking for a provider trained in transfusion-free medicine or surgery, contact us at 253-426-6918 or toll-free at 888-311-2655 or email [email protected] for a referral.

  • If I choose bloodless care, can I change my mind at a later date?

    Yes, participation in the bloodless program is voluntary and you may withdraw at any time.

  • What if I cannot speak for myself in an emergency situation?

    It is important for you to plan ahead so that your wishes will be known in an emergency situation. You should prepare a living will or advance directive, stating your wish to be treated by transfusion-free methods, and give copies to people who could speak on your behalf. You may also choose to carry the document with you in your wallet or purse. Our staff can help you create an advance directive if you do not have one.