Published online Aug 27, 2013. doi: 10.4240/wjgs.v5.i8.252
Revised: June 27, 2013
Accepted: July 17, 2013
Published online: August 27, 2013
We were unable to find reports in the published medical literature of any cases of bowel surgery being successfully performed at such a low hemoglobin level, without blood transfusion or blood products pre or post-surgery, with the patient’s uncomplicated recovery. This study is about such a case. A patient presenting with severe gastrointestinal bleeding was diagnosed with enteric fever and multiple ileal ulcers. He had an extremely low hemoglobin level (2 g/dL) and mild renal and hepatic impairment. He was immediately admitted for right hemicolectomy under general anesthesia though he refused transfusion of blood or blood products prior to, during, or after surgery on religious grounds (Jehovah’s Witnesses). After the surgery and having survived these potentially life-threatening circumstances, he left the hospital without major complications. In such circumstances, lives may be saved by prompt clinical decision-making, collaboration and swift surgical intervention coupled with the immediate consultation and input of the patient and family.
Core tip: It is unheard of in the medical history to take up a patient with hemoglobin of 2 g/dL for anesthesia and major bowel surgery, without transfusing blood or blood products prior to, during or after surgery; and saving the life without complications. We would like to report regarding such a patient who was treated at our hospital.