Bloodless transplant to Jehovahs Witnesses
John has multiple myeloma which is cancer of the plasma cells. He needed blood transfusions and a stem cell transplant to survive, but it goes against his religious beliefs.
The couple turned to Dr. Michael Lill, a self-described atheist who helped develop the bloodless transplant.
Before the transplant, the patient takes hormones to stimulate red blood cell growth. The goal is to get the red cell count high enough so blood isnt needed during the transplant.
Dr. Lill promises not to give the patients blood, even in an emergency. The procedure has worked for 25 people, but one patient died during the treatment.
Dr. Lill hopes the procedure prompts doctors to find new ways to conserve blood for all patients.
I think its probably beneficial for people to lose as little blood as possible during their hospital stay, said Dr. Lill.