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Minerva Cardioangiol. 2002 Apr;50(2):125-31.

Epoetin alpha in elective coronary and valve surgery in Jehovah's Witnesses patients. Experience in 45 patients.

[Article in English, Italian]

Author information

  • 1Cattedra di Cardiochirurgia, Universit√† degli Studi, Genova, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The religious beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses who refuse homologous and autologous blood transfusion poses serious problems for surgeons when operating on patients requiring a mean transfusion requirement of =/>2 units of blood.

METHODS:

After a number of encouraging studies in a randomised sample of patients 2-3 and after the treatment of some Jehovah's Witnesses 1, a group of 45 patients (23 females and 22 males) underwent elective heart surgery between June 1998 and December 2000. The patients, who were all Jehovah's Witnesses, received pre-treatment with epoetin alpha and ferrous sulphate. In the light of recent studies, it was also decided to repeat medullary preconditioning using the same intervals but with a higher dose. The patients underwent surgery involving myocardial revascularisation, mitral and/or aortic valve replacement, associated interventions, valvuloplasty and ascending aortic aneurysms. After obtaining informed and signed consent, the treatment protocol comprised the administration of 140 IU/kg epoetin alpha three times a week for 3 weeks associated with oral ferrous sulphate 3 times a day. Hematochemical levels (hemoglobin, free hemoglobin, hematocrit, ferritin, transferrin, haptoglobin, reticulocytes, iron levels) were monitored from admission to Day Hospital to discharge.

RESULTS:

No patient in the study required blood transfusion.

CONCLUSIONS:

The short, medium and long-term follow-up reconfirmed the substantial reliability of this drug linked to the absence of collateral effects.

PMID:
12032466
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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