Patient Blood Management

Your blood is a valuable resource that we need to conserve. There are things we need to do to manage your blood appropriately before surgery. One of these is to boost your blood and address health conditions such as anaemia or iron deficiency. This may help you avoid a blood transfusion and the associated risk of complications. It can also help you recover faster and have a shorter stay in hospital.

The best blood for you is your own.

Anaemia means that the level of red blood cells or the level of haemoglobin is lower than normal. This deprives the body of adequate oxygen. Anaemia before surgery increases the risk of other problems occurring. Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anaemia. Iron deficiency may also affect your ability to respond to any blood loss.

Talk to your GP or specialist so they can check if you have anaemia or low levels of iron. This is done with a simple blood test. It means these conditions can be addressed early, to ensure there are no delays to your surgery. Ideally, this preparation should start 6 months before your surgery. If this can’t happen, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

Getting your blood fit for surgery

  • Ask your GP or Surgeon to check your haemoglobin and iron levels
  • Do these 6 months before surgery
  • Anaemia left untreated may cause the hospital to delay your surgery
  • If you are having a colonoscopy, ask your GP to check your iron levels when they make the referral for colonoscopy
  • If you have low iron levels your GP or surgeon can treat this before your surgery

The fact sheet Fit for Surgery gives you some tips on what to discuss with your doctor. Fit for Surgery Fit for Life gives you some facts on iron and has a page for you to record any iron management. This is useful for you and your carer to bring to the clinic before your operation.

 
 

Blood & Blood Transfusions

Learn more about this very important resource.

Children & Blood Transfusions

If your child needs a blood transfusion read this guide.

Delayed Reaction to Transfusion

Read the information sheet to find out more.

Immunoglobulin

Find out more about this treatment and what ways you can receive it.

Iron

Find out why iron is important for your red blood cells.

Further Information

Want to know more about blood, transfusions or patient blood management?