By Benjamin Flowers
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital can now perform surgeries in some instances and not require blood transfusion through a donation of two Intraoperative Blood Salvage (cell saver) machines.
The machines were gifted last Friday to the Belize Spine Program from the international organization, Spine Overseas.
While the cell savers were donated to aid in spine-related surgeries, Chief Executive Officer of the KHMH, Dr. Adrian Coye says the machines have many other applications.
“By using this technology, blood that is lost actively from the field while you’re doing a major surgery can be harvested, cleansed and then re-transfused in the body,” Coye said.
He explained that the cell savers will allow the hospital to offer surgical services more readily to the growing number of patients that refuse blood transfusions either for religious reasons or because they are uncomfortable with transfusion due to the risks involved.
Coye added that not all surgeries will require the use of the cell savers. It will only be necessary for patients who stand to lose 500 ml or more of blood. Coye said that generally, patients can tolerate 500-800 ml of blood loss without it having any dire consequence to them.
The cell savers are estimated at US$40,000 each.