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Thread: Blood

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    88

    Blood

    Hi All,

    I noticed on George's updates about Dori he mentioned that she had to get 3 units of blood while in the hospital due to low hemoglobin level.

    This haden't crossed my mind, but I have Thalassemia (low hemoglobin level)- also known as mediterranean anemia. Do any of you know if this will create problems after surgery? Dr. Boachie didn't mention anything, but now I'm questioning myself if I told him that I have this!

    Any info will help. Thanks so much

    Lesly

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    78
    Hi, Lesly
    I would definitely discuss this with your doctor. With this surgery there is higher blood loss. My son I found out before surgery through blood tests was slightly factor VII deficient. His blood takes a little bit longer to clot. So the surgeon was aware of this going in. Luckily, there was no need to give the factor VII product during surgery but my son still needed 2 units of blood during surgery. Nothing after.
    Linda
    Mom to Hunter (10 yrs old), status post posterior spinal fusion T1-sacrum 7/24/06 w/spastic quad CP

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    459
    I was very healthy going into my surgery. I still required 2 units of blood during surgery (in addition to my own blood which was being recycled through a small machine in the OR) and then 2 more units 3 days later. My blood oxygen levels were low enough that a transfusion was needed to raise them.

    Be sure that you specifically write this down and ask your doctor next time you see him or call him if you aren't scheduled to see him before your surgery.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    88
    Heidi,

    Can you tell me what the transfusion was like (post-op)? This terrifies me!!!

    Thanks,
    Lesly

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    78
    I know when my son needed a transfusion a couple of days after his hip surgery (high blood loss with that surgery too) they did it through his IV line. I remember they had to run the blood slowly through I want to say 2-3 hours. Before the transfusion you're feeling weak I remember my son was looking quite lethargic. Afterwards it helped give him a boost. I wouldn't be afraid of it. If anything it helps you feel better.

    With spinal fusion surgery I'm not sure if they run it through the IV line or the arterial line? My son didn't need any transfusions after spinal fusion surgery so I don't know.
    Linda
    Mom to Hunter (10 yrs old), status post posterior spinal fusion T1-sacrum 7/24/06 w/spastic quad CP

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,020
    Hi Lesly...

    You should definitely bring up the thalassemia subject with Dr. Boachie. I'm thinking that you may not be able to donate your own blood before surgery. I also have a blood disorder (essential thrombocytosis), and had to go through some additional testing before surgery.

    I didn't get any transfusion after surgery, but those I know who have had them have all said they felt much better afterward. If you do need a transfusion, they'll do it through your IV or central line (a line placed in your neck during surgery). It should be painless. Hopefully Karen Ocker will see your post and comment on it. She's a nurse anesthetist.

    Regards,
    Linda

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    88
    Thanks Linda,

    I don't think I'm able to donate my own blood, so my mom is going to donate for me prior to surgery.

    I will call Lindy at Dr. Boachie's office and ask her- I know that I should definitely make them aware of this!

    Thanks for the info.

    Lesly

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    78
    I know when my son had his hip surgery I asked if I could donate blood since I'm the same blood type but they told me I couldn't because I was his mother and the blood bank wouldn't do it because of some issue between mother and child with the blood. I wish I could remember what the reason was??? I'm hoping maybe somebody else knows the reason.
    Linda
    Mom to Hunter (10 yrs old), status post posterior spinal fusion T1-sacrum 7/24/06 w/spastic quad CP

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    313

    Dear Lesly,

    I also had to have 2 units of blood a couple days after my posterior surgery because my hemoglobin was low. They just hooked it up to my iv bag instead of the regular drip and I felt nothing different. I was barely even aware of when it started or ended.

    Deb
    age 47
    posterior surgery 7/24/06
    for s curve T70,L76
    30 degrees correction
    DON'T WAIT TO GET STRAIGHT!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    459
    Yes, they ran the transfusion through my IV line too. I had no idea it was even taking place until I woke up and saw the bags of blood hanging on the IV pole next to my bed. I asked my husband and parents what it was for and they told me I was getting a transfusion for the low oxygen levels and I just said, "Oh, cool" and drifted off to sleep again. They told me it took a few hours for it to complete. The next day I was much more energetic and began staying awake longer and remembering much more of what was going on.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    408
    Lesly,

    Before surgery, the thought of donating blood, seeing blood or anything having to do with blood for that matter worried me. I donated 2 units and was given 4 units of blood after surgery. It sounds scary, but you really don't think about it while you are being transfused. Like others have mentioned, I saw the bag hanging from my IV pole and didn't give it much thought after that.
    Brandi
    Congenital Scoliosis, 58* lumbar curve
    Combined Anterior/Posterior Spinal Fusion w/Laminectomy May 22, 2006
    L1-S1
    Dr. William Lauerman
    Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC
    Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy @ L3, Posterior Spinal Fusion L2-L4, rod removal with re-instrumentation T10-S1 and Laminectomy February 5, 2009 to correct flatback
    http://brandi816.wordpress.com/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    74
    Lesly:

    You will not be able to donate your own blood. I have Thalessemia as well and was unable to donate for my son but my husband donated the final unit of the 3 our surgeon required. According to my son it was painless and I know it took a few hours for each of the 3 units he was given back following surgery, one unit three days in a row. He was looking pretty pale and it really seemed to perk him up. For how many times we were rejected (my son had rapid heartbeat, an elevated temp, and then had finished a course of antibiotics so we were rejected 3 times before he was able to finally donate) at the Red Cross, they are so stringent with their screenings, etc. now that you can just use their blood bank.
    Laurie
    mom to Josh age 15, double curves 77T/55L Posterior spinal fusion done at age 13 on July 10, 2006 from T2 - L5 Now 35T/25L

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