Transfusion support and alternatives for Jehovah's Witness patients

Elizabeth P. Crowe, Robert A. Desimone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of reviewJehovah's Witness patients with critical anemia or undergoing major surgery are challenging for healthcare providers to manage, as most will decline transfusion of whole blood and its main components. Recent advances in our understanding of hemostatic agents, alternative hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers, and patient blood management have culminated in a complex array of options to manage critical anemia and bleeding in this patient population.Recent findingsRefusal of blood products in the setting of critical anemia is associated with significant risk of morbidity and mortality. With implementation of patient blood management measures, targeted treatment of anemia and coagulopathy has reduced the need for transfusions. Likewise, increased clinical experience with hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers in Jehovah's Witnesses with critical anemia has provided new insights into their potential benefits and pitfalls.SummaryOptions and alternatives to manage the Jehovah's Witness patient in the perioperative setting or in the setting of critical anemia will be reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-479
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in hematology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Jehovah's Witness
  • anemia
  • coagulopathy
  • transfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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