Your Questions About Ppf Drawbacks

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Steven asks…

blood transfusion question?

my friend is a jehovah’s witness, and she said that they sign a blood card that states they will not accept blood transfusions. She said that they can use sugar water instead because it goes by volume of the blood. is this true or does she not know what she’s talking about?

Justin answers:

There is no replacement for blood. Your friend is potentially putting her life and her family (if they’re JW’s) lives at risk, too, simply for the sake of a religion that may OR may not be completely valid!
However, to answer your question, she is not completely wrong. Here’s why:

In some cases, alternatives to blood product transfusions may be available.

Volume expanders: When a patient has lost a lot of body fluids but does not need red blood cells or other blood cells, volume expanders may be given to prevent or treat shock caused by fluid loss. The most common volume expanders are normal saline (salt water) and lactated Ringer’s solution (saline plus additional chemicals). Other volume expanders include albumin, hydroxyethyl starch (HES), dextrans, and purified protein fractions (PPF).

Growth factors: As described in the section Why Cancer Patients Might Need Blood Product Transfusions, the body naturally makes hormone-like substances called hematopoietic (blood forming) growth factors that cause the bone marrow to make more blood cells. Scientists have learned how to make some of these growth factors in the lab to help people with low blood cell counts. Growth factors can be used to boost red blood cell, white blood cell, or platelet counts.

Growth factors may help patients who would otherwise need transfusions. But they have some drawbacks that may limit their use in some situations:

* Unlike transfusions, growth factors often take several days to raise blood counts, so they may not be useful in people who need blood cell levels raised quickly, such as those with active bleeding.

* People who have severe bone marrow disease may not respond to the growth factors because they do not have enough blood-producing cells in their bone marrow.

* Some growth factors might stimulate certain types of cancer cells (such as certain leukemia cells) to grow more quickly.

* Growth factors are generally much more expensive than transfusions

Intra-operative or post-operative blood salvage: Patients undergoing surgery sometimes need transfusions to replace the blood lost during or after the operation. In some cases this lost blood can be ‘salvaged’ by collecting it with a special machine and infusing it back into the patient. Giving a person back his or her own (autologous) blood cuts down on the need for transfusions from other donors. (Another type of autologous transfusion is described in the Blood Donation section, below.)

Blood substitutes: So far, there is no real substitute for human blood. Researchers are working to develop a blood substitute that will not have the risks of blood transfusions. Products that are being tested include hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers and perfluorochemical compounds. They can perform some red blood cell functions, such as carrying oxygen to tissues, but they do not replace human blood.

Most blood substitutes are experimental and are rarely used. They may be used as a temporary measure in patients whose religious beliefs do not allow them to have blood product transfusions. They may also benefit patients with rare blood types whose immune systems would destroy available donated blood. The substitutes may be used until compatible donated blood can be located, which in some cases might take several days.

Hope this answers your question!!

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