What is Patient Blood Management?

What is Patient Blood Management?

Blood is critical, but more so when it may be needed for surgery or an ongoing condition. Blood management focuses on reducing blood loss, building up your own blood or both. We bring the safest treatments to benefit your health.

No matter what the need, you can choose from our treatment options.

Your doctor can help you with the benefits and risks.

Treatment Options:

  • Medications to make blood cells
  • Prepare for or prevent blood loss
  • Recycle your own blood during surgery
  • Other treatments and techniques to reduce blood loss

Patient education materials:

For more information or to speak with a Patient Blood Management nurse, please email mccoyk@ccf.org or call 216.213.4434.

How is Surgery Performed?

How is Surgery Performed?

Understanding Your Blood Needs

When a blood transfusion is needed, it falls under one of the following:

  • Red cells - carry oxygen
  • Plasma - supports blood volume
  • Platelets - stop bleeding

When any of these are low, if can affect your heart, lungs, kidneys and brain. Low blood can weaken your health and recovery. Ask your doctor about your treatment needs and options. This checklist may help you:

  • Why do I need a transfusion?
  • How will it benefit me?
  • What are the risks?
  • What are the alternatives?

Choices for Blood Transfusion

  • Unknown donor
  • Donate your own blood
  • Build up your blood with medications
  • Recycle your own blood

Blood Management Options

A combination of techniques and strategies may be used.

Anemia or Before Surgery

Techniques are utilized prior to treatment to stimulate a person's ability to make blood through enhanced nutrition and certain medications.

  • Synthetic erythropoietin - a hormone that stimulates production of red blood cells.
  • Iron therapy - a mineral essential for formation of red blood cells.
  • B12, folic acid and vitamin C - vitamins necessary for red blood cell growth.

During Surgery

Using a number of well-researched techniques, blood loss is minimized during surgery and any blood that might have otherwise been lost is recycled when possible.

After Surgery

The amount of blood used for laboratory testing is minimized by carefully choosing the tests to be performed and using significantly smaller tubes for blood draws. Additionally, techniques are utilized to stimulate a person's ability to make blood through enhanced nutrition and certain medications.

When Receiving Blood Is Not An Option

When Receiving Blood Is Not An Option

The use of blood products may not be an option or becomes difficult when:

  • Religious beliefs prohibit blood products
  • Antibodies limit finding compatible blood

What Should You Do

  • Become informed of treatment options without blood products
  • Discuss with your doctor
  • Be prepared and plan ahead if possible

Care at the Cleveland Clinic

The Cleveland Clinic has teams of experienced doctors, nurses, and caregivers skilled to deliver "World Class" care.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact our nurse coordinator at 216.213.4434 or email mccoyk@ccf.org.



Blood Management and Anemia

Anemia or low blood levels impact health and energy levels. Anemia can be caused by bleeding, inflammation, lack of nutrients, medications, or a combination. The most common type of anemia is iron deficiency which can be treated.

Risk Factors for Iron Deficiency

  • Bleeding
  • Antacids
  • Thyroid medications
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Heavy periods
  • Pregnancy


Iron deficiency is treated by restoring iron in the body. This can be done through diet, iron pills, or intravenous iron depending on the severity and other factors. Your doctor can help determine what treatment is best for you.

How Blood Management Can Help?

Our nurse coordinator works with you and your doctor. This nurse can provide education, answer questions, arrange appointments for intravenous iron, whether you are local to a Cleveland Clinic facility or out-of-area.

Patient Resources