U.K. NHS Attitude to Blood Transfusion and its Safety

by BluesBrother 42 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • BluesBrother

    While visiting someone at the local hospital I saw this leaflet " Will I Need A Blood Transfusion ? - Patient Information"

    Now I was raised in the belief that doctors are transfusion-happy and just give you one willy nilly if they operate , further that a trans. is a sure way to contract AIDS , Hepatitis or something equally nasty. That belief is fondly stuck to by the dubs I know well.... So what does this booklet say?

    The opening words are:

    "Like all medical treatments, a blood transfusion should only be given if it is essential. Where possible, your doctor, nurse or midwife (or other healthcare professional) should discuss the risks and possible alternatives with you, before obtaining your consent for the procedure."

    That is different.. further

    "Blood transfusion is only needed for a small number of patients having an operation. It may be possible to recycle your own blood during an operation, ask your healthcare professional if this is appropriate for you. "

    Well, well well...but is it not risky?

    Compared to other everyday risks, the likelihood of getting an infection from a blood transfusion is very low. ......

    Further information is to be found at the NHS site " Blood Transfusion Risks" where it says:

    It’s extremely rare for someone to develop a viral infection from a blood transfusion, as the blood services use strict testing processes. For example, it is estimated that:
    • the risk of getting hepatitis B is about 1 in 1.3 million
    • the risk of getting hepatitis C is about 1 in 28 million
    • the risk of getting HIV is about 1 in 6.5 million
    • There hasn't been a recorded case of someone developing a viral infection from a blood transfusion since 2005."

    Now I looked at the J W Site and their video " Transfusion Alternative Strategies" .. which gives dark warnings of viral infection risks . This is dated yr. 2000 which is 17 years ago ! When did the doctors make their comments? We don't know. The brochure " How can Blood Save Your Life" which is still the current item was dated 1990, that is 27 years ago. Times change you know...

    As far as I can tell, as a layman, if you live in the developed world Blood transfusions are as safe as any other medical procedure and the WTS is misleading it's members to say different !

  • The Fall Guy
    The Fall Guy

    The NHS site https://www.shotuk.org (Serious Hazards Of Transfusion) once cited various references to failings in blood management and the subsequent consequences.

    By law, U.K. hospital staff must now record every occasion when an instance of I.B.C.T. (incorrect blood component transfused) occurs. Unfortunately, such mistakes happen far more frequently than they should. (human error)

    Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury (TRALI) is very often fatal. (only 5ml of IBCT can result in TRALI)

    If the professionals have serious concerns about blood.........................

  • scratchme1010

    You are on point. There have been quite a few advances in medicine, and the need for blood transfusions in patients has been considerably reduced.

    In the medical field it's almost a non-issue. Please note that many of the advances and workarounds of administering blood transfusion come from the fact that blood banks never have the necessary amount of blood that once was required to supply for the demand. It has nothing to do with the WT influencing the medical field, which they love bragging about.

  • problemaddict 2
    problemaddict 2

    Fall guy,

    No doubt if you are in need of a transfusion you are not in the best situation to begin with. But blood still remains a VITAL component and tool in modern medicine. A plethora of drugs and treatments are made from it, and there are trauma situations in which nothing else will do. As we hopefully develop less and less need for it (as a finite resource that can only be stored for so long), JW's will no doubt continue to pat themselves on the back.

    If I could avoid it, I would. If i couldn't, I would take the risk as I would any medical treatment meant to save my life. I would do the same to my children. Doctors would also do the same for themselves and their children. Just ask one.

  • steve2

    Yes, to read Hospital-based fact sheets on blood transfusions is a refreshing world removed from the fevered, biased, outdated information on JW organization.

    JW organization jumps on risk of blood transfusions like it has uncovered some shock/horror story. It hasn't.

    All medical treatments carry some calculable risk and so patients and health professionals have necessary and informed conversations such as, "Does need for treatment outweigh risks?", among other vital questions. It's called patient informed consent.

    In emergency settings you'd have to be an indoctrinated dullard to refuse life saving treatment of which blood transfusions are near the top of the list.

    Thank goodness accurate information on transfusions is available at one's fingertips for those who care to investigate and not succumb to the uninformed din of information on JW org.

  • Fisherman
    As far as I can tell, as a layman, if you live in the developed world Blood transfusions are as safe as any other medical procedure and the WTS is misleading it's members to say different !

    If a person has lost a couple of gallons of blood or so, what is riskier, death or a blood transfusion? But a person getting a BT can only hope the blood is safe --You just don't know. But for a jw, it doesn't matter, he has already decided beforehand that he is prepared to die rather than to get a safe or risky BT.

  • konceptual99

    I was speaking to a friend on the HLC the other day and they know how safe they are but that's not what the issue is. It's a smoke and mirrors exercise with the professionals and an organisational loyalty issue with the R&F

  • steve2

    JWs cite selected reports that caution against blood transfusions and then say, but 'that's not the reason we refuse them', when challenged on the citation or other research about the safety of BT.

  • Fisherman

    Ws cite selected reports that caution against blood transfusions and then say, but 'that's not the reason we refuse them', when challenged on the citation or other research about the safety of BT.

    Because it is not. Even if it was possible to sterilize blood and offer it to JW, JW would still not be able to accept.

    Safe or infected, it's all the same to JW. Prior to the AIDS epidemic, blood was deemed to be safe too, in fact, that is why it was used to transfuse people with it. There is good reason to believe that blood is safe too at this time based upon belief in the statistics,and reasons given and there is no reason to doubt the evidence given. On the other hand, a person that received a BT is not out of the woods yet. He just does not know if the blood that was given to him was safe.Only time will tell. In the meantime, a lot of people worry and do not have peace of mind.

  • Lee Elder
    Lee Elder

    Perhaps a better question to ask is what is a blood transfusion? JW's will say they don't accept blood, but in reality they are now using 100% of blood in fractionated form. What is it that makes albumin, hemoglobin, cryoprecipitate, etc, acceptable for a JW, beyond the HLC and GB saying so? Why are these major blood products acceptable, and others, even tiny ones likes platelets, not acceptable? Where does the Bible explain which parts of blood may be used, and which parts may not? Of course, these are rhetorical questions. The Bible is silent. There is no logical reason for the Watchtower's convoluted policy beyond it being an "organizational policy".

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