Achieving pediatric cardiac surgery using cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) without allogeneic blood transfusion is challenging. There are many clinical and economic factors that point to the importance of avoiding blood transfusions. In some instances, honoring patients or parents beliefs may be the reason for avoiding blood transfusions. For example, patients or parents of the Jehovah’s Witness faith refuse blood transfusion based on their religious beliefs. Over the last decade, our institution has seen a steady increase in our pediatric Jehovah’s Witness patient population. Caring for these patients have allowed us to develop specific protocols that enable us to safely provide bloodless CPB in all of our patient populations. The success of such an approach to minimize the need for blood transfusions should not start in the operating room; it must include the preoperative period and the postoperative care by the critical care team in the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU). A multidisciplinary team approach has to be in place with clear communication between the cardiologist, anesthesiologist, cardiac surgeon, perfusionist, and the cardiac intensivist. We present a case of a 7 day old male (3.6 kg) with a preoperative diagnosis of Transposition of the Great Arteries and intact ventricular septum who underwent an arterial switch procedure without the transfusion of any blood products throughout his entire hospital stay.
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