Worldwide Reports

Blood Conservation Strategy during Cardiac Valve Surgery in Jehovah's Witnesses: a Comparative Study with Non-Jehovah's Witnesses

Kim TS | Korean J Crit Care Med. |
Korea University Medical Center, Seoul; Sejong General Hospital, Bucheon; Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center, Daegu
Seoul, South Korea


We compared the clinical outcomes of cardiac valve surgery in adult Jehovah’s Witness patients refusing blood transfusion to those in non-Jehovah’s Witness patients without any transfusion limitations.


From 2005 to 2014, 25 Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW group) underwent cardiac valve surgery using a blood conservation strategy. Twenty-five matched control patients (non-JW group) were selected according to sex, age, operation date, and surgeon. Both groups were managed according to general guidelines of anticoagulation for valve surgery. RESULTS: The operative mortality rate was 4.0% in the JW group and 0% in the non-JW group (p = 1.000). There was no difference in postoperative major complications between the groups (p = 1.000). The overall survival rate at 5 and 10 years was 85.6% ± 7.9% and 85.6% ± 7.9% in the JW group, respectively, and 100.0% ± 0.0% and 66.7% ± 27.2% in the non-JW group (p = 0.313). The valve-related morbidity-free survival rates (p = 0.625) and late morbidity-free survival rates (p = 0.885) were not significantly different between the groups.


Using a perioperative strategy for blood conservation, cardiac valve surgery without transfusion had comparable clinical outcomes in adult patients. This blood conservation strategy could be broadly applied to major surgeries with careful perioperative care.

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