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Patient Blood Management

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Patient Blood Management

Patient Blood Management

Peterborough Regional Health Centre is part of the Ontario NurseTransfusion Program (ONTraC), funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care responsible for Patient Blood Management (PBM) .Currently there are 25 hospitals in Ontario funded for a Patient Blood Management Nurse.

The goal of the Patient Blood Management Program is to enhance blood transfusion practices by promoting alternatives to blood transfusion in surgical patients, thus improving patient care and well- being by reducing risks associated with blood transfusion.

Patient Blood Management aims to:

  • Identify anemia ( low Blood counts) in pre-operative patients
  • Promote alternatives to blood transfusion in surgical patients
  • Arrange these alternatives in an individual manner
  • Educate patients, families, physicians and staff about the risk of transfusion.

Anemia what is it?

Anemia is the medical term for low red blood cell count in your body. Red Blood Cells are important in your body because they contain hemoglobin which carries oxygen all around your body. Every cell in your body needs oxygen to survive.

Anemia can be caused by:

  • Poor diet
  • Shortage of iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid in your diet
  • Blood loss - example - bleeding ulcer, menstruation
  • Some medications  may interfere with your body’s ability to produce red blood cells
  • Some diseases like arthritis

Why is Anemia a Risk in Surgery?

If your blood counts are already low and you lose more blood during surgery your organs and cells may not get enough oxygen they need to do their work. Because of this you may not respond and recover as well from surgery or require a Blood transfusion.

How does the Patient Blood Management Program Work at Peterborough Regional?

  • Patients at risk for transfusion are identified ahead of surgery and seen in the Pre-Op clinic before surgery. Ideally 3 – 5 weeks before surgery.
  • The patient and their family will receive appropriate discussion and information about Patient Blood Management, Anemia, A guide to preparing for Surgery and Blood Transfusion Information.
  • If it is identified that your blood counts are low the Patient Blood Management Nurse will work with you to plan the best way to try to avoid or reduce the need for a blood transfusion during your hospital stay.

       Some of these options are:

  • An iron rich diet
  • Taking oral iron supplements
  • Intravenous iron infusions
  • Taking a medication called “Erythropoietin” (EPO)
  • Vitamin supplements


What is A Blood Transfusion and What if I DO need one?

A Blood Transfusion is a medical procedure where blood previously donated to Canadian Blood Services is infused intravenously into a person’s vein, usually because of blood loss or a lack of red blood cells.

Blood transfusion can be lifesaving when used appropriately.

Blood is a living organ and so there will always be some risks associated with receiving a transfusion. Your Doctor will carefully weigh the benefits and risks before considering a transfusion. You or your substitute decision maker will be asked to make an informed consent about whether or not you wish to have a transfusion by your Physician after a thorough discussion.

Who can I call for More Information?

The Patient Blood Management Nurse is located in the Surgical Services program of our hospital. The Nurse will be happy to provide you with information and answer your questions.

Please call Patient Blood Management at 705 743-2121 ext. 3019.

Other helpful links :

  • Ontario  Nurse Transfusion Coordinator Program (ONTRaC)
  • Ontario Regional Blood Coordinating Network (ORBCoN)
  • Canadian Blood Services (CBS)
  • Iron Corner – http://iron.sabm.org