Caring for the Jehovah's Witness Parturient

C LaToya Mason, Connie K Tran
Anesthesia and Analgesia 2015, 121 (6): 1564-9
Caring for the Jehovah's Witness parturient is a complex task that presents a number of ethical, medical, and legal concerns because many Jehovah's Witnesses refuse allogeneic blood transfusion. Childbirth and its surrounding events may be associated with significant blood loss. Given their significant role in the intraoperative administration of blood products, anesthesia providers should be familiar with factors that must be considered in the perioperative care of Jehovah's Witness parturients. Several pharmacologic therapies, anesthetic techniques, and operative interventions aimed at blood conservation may be useful in the care of such patients. Aside from their refusal of transfusion, each Witness makes a personal decision on the acceptability of derivatives of plasma or cellular blood components and autologous blood management. Therefore, the patient-physician relationship must ensure that the individual patient's desires are accurately communicated, respected, and documented in the patient's medical record. The Perioperative Surgical Home model is appropriate for use in caring for Jehovah's Witness patients because it allows for the early and continuing coordination of care and communication between the patient and a multidisciplinary team. In this article, we present a focused review of concepts important to the provision of anesthetic care of parturients who are Jehovah's Witnesses and introduce an algorithmic perioperative approach that may be applied to the care of the Jehovah's Witness parturient undergoing an operative procedure.


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