Blood Transfusion and Faith

In one instance, I had a female African American patient who was admitted with symptomatic anemia and needed a blood transfusion. During my admission, I never noticed anything about her religion or any effects that would bar the patient from receiving the transfusion. On getting to the patient to sign her for the blood transfusion, she claimed she could not go through with the process as it goes against her faith. I had to inquire about her religion, of which she claimed she was a Jehovah witness.  Her Christian faith accepts medical treatment but bars her from having a blood transfusion (Wang, & Klein, 2010). However, I had to go with her consent for medical treatment and give an alternative plan.

The medical staff devised an individualized medical plan for the patient that would increase her blood cell count using another method. We developed a custom plan involving the infusion of iron to help the patient produce more blood cell, erythropoietin that was to stimulate the bone marrow of the patient to produce more red blood cells and IV fluids for expanding the volume of blood was provided (Wang, & Klein, 2010). The patient taught on the plan on which she obliged.  Having that opportunity to care for that patient gave me a life lesson and the patient who grateful for the care despite her faith. She was grateful that she never had a problem with the staff on choosing between religious ostracism and treatment.  The experience was excellent, and I was thankful to the medical team who never hesitated to come up with an alternative treatment plan. The earlier cases that I handled similar to this, I always thought that blood transfusion was the only option. Moreover, some even lamented on my stupidity and preferred death to being subjected to accept the treatment.

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ReferenceWang, J. K., & Klein, H. G. (2010). Red blood cell transfusion in the treatment and management of anaemia: the search for the elusive transfusion trigger. Vox sanguinis98(1), 2-11.

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