EPO and Bloodless Surgery

by HAL9000 4 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • HAL9000

    Currently a family member is about to undergo serious surgery. The surgeon indicated that he would like a unit of pre-operative autologous blood to be donated in case of any unforeseen problems. The (obvious) response was no: the surgery will proceed however.

    A point that needs to be kept in mind is that the WTS has suggested in one of their “Bloodless Surgery” DVD’s that EPO (erythropoietin) can be used to increase hemacrit levels before surgery, thus reducing the need for transfusion. This approach was suggested to one of the medical team who indicated that this was “not on” due to the increased risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis.

    Scratch that option.

    A little further investigation revealed the following Alert from the US FDA. Please note that unlike the information provided by the WTS this is a full extract from that source.

    Information on Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents (ESA) (marketed as Procrit, Epogen, and Aranesp)

    FDA ALERT [11/16/2006, Updated 2/16/2007 and 3/9/2007]: FDA is issuing this alert to provide new safety information for erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) [Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa), Epogen (epoetin alfa), and Procrit (epoetin alfa)]. Analyses of four new studies in patients with cancer found a higher chance of serious and life-threatening side effects and/or death with the use of ESAs. These research studies were evaluating an unapproved dosing regimen, a patient population for which ESAs are not approved, or a new unapproved ESA.

    In another study, patients scheduled for orthopedic surgery had a higher rate of deep venous thrombosis when treated with Procrit at the approved dose. This new information is consistent with risks found in two clinical studies in patients with chronic renal failure treated with an unapproved regimen of an ESA that were reported in November 2006 and are summarized in the data section below.

    All ESAs have the same mechanism of action. As a result, FDA believes these new concerns apply to all ESAs and is re-evaluating how to safely use this product class. FDA and Amgen, the manufacturer of Aranesp, Epogen and Procrit, have changed the full prescribing information for these drugs. The new product labeling includes a new boxed warning, updated warnings, and a change to the dosage and administration sections for all ESAs.

    I would be curious to know if anyone knows if the Witchtower and Babble Society has provided any update on the potentially serious side-effects of the approaches that they have promoted to those about to undergo such surgery. I suspect not.

    Anyone about to embark on this type of surgery needs to be aware of the risks involved and not to be duped by the pseudo-science of the ethically challenged.


  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    OK my mother takes EPO shots every three weeks because..... it take weeks to take affect. The info that JW's give on this product is shiiiettt. It is effective as it it has kept my mothers blood count up but it is absolutely ineffective in an emergency situation. Only transfusions kept my Mom alive. afterwards, EPO every three weeks kept up her blood count. I find it criminal that the WTB&TS lists this as an alternative to a transfusion.

  • Gill

    It's an absolute disgrace.

    A JW relative of mine had EPO for several weeks before she was due to give birth due to the hospital's fear of her bleeding to death and the Watchtower's recommendation of EPO as a potential life saver in bleeding out situations.

    The birth went fine with minimal blood loss.

    However, several weeks later she had a potentially fatal blood clot on her lung!

    How's that for Watchtower pseudoscience! If it hadn't been for herself and husband pushing for the EPO she would have been totally fine!

  • glenster

    Good research. Can you give the misleading quote from the Watchtower literature? I vaguely remember reading about it in the late '80's or early '90's but I don't have any of that literature around anymore.

  • HAL9000

    The information that was supplied re EPO was via a DVD ordered in specifically by my relative. I get the impression from viewing it that it was intended for more a professional medical audience than the general populace. It did have the hallmarks of WT publications though - snippets of quotes from articles etc.

    I think that a key issue here is that the approach recommended by the WTS (ie use of EPO) is under a real cloud from the USFDA and that people contemplating the use of EPO should be informed as to the risks. While many medical practitioners are up to date on these matters, many are not. An even worse scenario is the use of non-medically provided EPO by an uninformed person (EPO is one of the banned "performance enhancing" drugs and can be obtained by various means)

    I'll dig up the DVD and let you know the details in the next day or so (my access to JWD is restricted)


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