Patient Blood Management (PBM) is a multi-disciplinary approach to maximizing your own blood health and supply. Often this is most crucial during surgery.

When large amounts of blood are lost in surgery, it is often possible to get the blood you need by electing to use your own blood. Not blood from a donor, not blood limited by type. And not blood straining the nation’s precious blood supply. (This is especially important during COVID-19 when national blood banks have experienced a drop in donations, which in turn reduces blood supply and drives up blood costs.)

The decision is yours—the YRMC PBM program hinges on informed consent. Meaning you have the right to be informed of your choices. Then you have the right to choose to optimize and/or use your own blood (captured and reinfused during surgery), receive someone else’s blood, or receive a combination of both when necessary. It’s your blood, your call.

Based on your decision, a team of medical professionals will assess your blood management needs and develop a clinically sound, evidence-based plan of care during your hospital stay. This plan marshals pharmaceuticals, technology and medical techniques to decrease blood loss and enhance blood cell production—which reduces or eliminates the need for a blood transfusion.

Progressive Leadership

Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) has the only officially recognized PBM program in Arizona and one of the relatively few in the nation. When it comes to PBM, your local hospital is doing some of the highest caliber work in the country and even the world. That’s why YRMC hosts an annual PBM Symposium in Prescott, an event viewed internationally and presented by some of the world’s leading PBM experts. How did this happen?

“We owe our PBM program to progressive leaders and top-notch medical professionals at our hospital,” said PBM Program Coordinator Dale Black. The program started in 2012 after Black and Pierre Tibi, MD broached the subject with hospital administrators.

“It never would have happened without leadership’s forward-thinking mindset and ongoing commitment over the past eight years,” Black said. “In less than a decade we’ve become part of a worldwide initiative that uses evidence-based science to achieve better patient outcomes using blood management principles.”

Today Dr. Tibi is a leading authority on PBM and serves as the Medical Director of the YRMC PBM Program and The James Family Heart Center.

Better Outcomes

While blood transfusions remain a vital life-saving procedure, growing evidence shows that patients who maximize their own blood supply benefit from:

  • lower infection rates.
  • less anemia.
  • fewer kidney, lung and heart complications.
  • less exposure to viruses and other blood-borne disease.
  • shorter hospital stays.
  • all-around better surgical outcomes.

A Continuum of Care

YRMC’s PBM program provides you with care and support before, during and after surgery.

Presurgical measures center on optimizing red blood cell mass to prevent anemia. This may involve iron therapy, a vitamin regime, nutritional support and medication management. Erythropoietin-stimulating agents (ESAs) may be administered via a shot to stimulate the production of additional red blood cells.

Surgical techniques may include removing a calculated amount of blood, adding non-blood expanders, and reinfusing red cells back to the patient. Or they may include cell-salvage, collecting blood lost during surgery—then washing, filtering and reinfusing red blood cells back to the patient. Hemostatic agents may be used to promote rapid blood coagulation.

Postsurgical procedures include detecting and mitigating bleeding, minimizing the frequency and volume of blood draws, nutritional support, and continued iron therapy, possibly in conjunction with ESA administration if appropriate.

The next time you are scheduled for surgery at YRMC, be sure to ask about Patient Blood Management, or PBM. For more information you can also contact Dale Black directly at [email protected] or (928) 771-5109. You can also visit the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management and download their Patient Guide.