Fisherman: Do you know that blood would have been a better choice for your baby?
Yes. I do know that a blood transfusion choice would have been, by far, a better option. I have zero doubts about that. Zero. *to add - my baby didn't need blood - he just needed surgery that may have required a blood transfusion
The surgery was not an especially complicated one and it had a very high rate of success during those times. Instead of my son undergoing a simple, probably short, surgery to correct a small obstruction of the bowel, he was subjected to a very lengthy, hours and hours long, alternative procedure that drained a lot of the blood from his wee tiny body, stored that blood, and in the meantime, kept his body at really low temperatures. And, not only that....but 6 weeks later, he had a horrible side effect from his blood being re-transfused back into his navel. His bowel became gangrenous. None of that would have happened if he had simply been given the routine, standard surgery that may, or may not, have required a blood transfusion.
*there is so much more to this story. It gets really ugly. Really ugly. Like Lee said, I need to write it all down.
The really really ugly part happened when my baby had his second surgery. I was on my own for that one - no mother to interfere with my baby's medical decisions. I made it very clear to the surgeon that I wanted my baby to get blood if he needed it. The surgeon promised me he would get blood.
But, that didn't happen. The surgeon lied because he knew that blood wasn't going to be used. The surgery had already been set up to go ahead with the alternative procedure (hemodilution) and the specialist had already been brought in from a different city. I spoke to the pediatric anesthesiologist on the telephone after the 9 hour surgery and I asked him if my baby had needed blood and if he had got it.
This is what the doctor yelled at me over the phone:
"Of course he didn't get blood!! You don't use blood in this procedure. What is WRONG with you people?? Nobody, nobody ever, should ever have to go through what that baby did!"
And then he told me that he didn't understand why I wanted to come over to the hospital to see him because "he probably won't live through the night. Little guys like this don't usually make it. His chances are about 3 percent. But, you can come see him if you want."
I went to see him.