How are blood shortages being dealt with in the operating room? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Blood is in more limited supply right now than it was before the pandemic, with the Red Cross citing blood donation event cancelations as key. Steven Frank, a blood transfusion expert at Johns Hopkins, says there are several strategies to help reduce the need for blood during operations.

Frank: There’s a medication called transexemic acid that reduces bleeding by about 30% and has virtually no side effects. It does that by stabilizing a clot that forms to reduce blood loss. And we can just simply keep patients warm during surgery. If we keep your body temperature normal, like 98.6 or 37 centigrade we can reduce bleeding because cold patients bleed more and just simply keeping you warm can reduce bleeding.  :32

Frank says it’s always better to avoid blood transfusion if possible, so these and other strategies may help to achieve that goal. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.