BENGALURU: A 39-year old woman, who was diagnosed with cardiac ailments approached a hospital in city stating that she was ready to undergo any treatment provided there was no blood transfusion involved in it.
The woman, Bibiche Tshibola Makola, who is a Jehovah’s witness by faith, was hesitant to have her own blood taken in advance, frozen and re-transfused into her. For Jehovah's witnesses transfusion of blood is against their religious belief.
After a lot of analysis, surgeons at Fortis Hospital on Bannerghatta Road managed to perform a bloodless open-heart surgery and valve repair. According to doctors, the woman suffered from restrictive cardiomyopathy, which hinders the heart's stretching and results in bleeding. Sherequired an open-heart surgery to fix the heart valves and restrain the bleeding.
The patient had specially flown down to India to get the treatment as many countries and centers had refused surgery on her.
Dr. Vivek Jawali, Chief Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon Fortis Hospitals said, “Makolo had severe restrictive cardiomyopathy in which there is restrictive filling of the ventricles. She required immediate surgery, however her religious belief was not allowing her to proceed with the conventional method of treatment, which may require blood transfusion. With due respect to her religious beliefs, we recommended her to undergo bloodless surgery,”
The doctors then sat together and had a perioperative plan which was set by hematologist, the anesthetist and team of cardiac surgeons. ‘We put the patient on a series of medications including blood conservatives which helped to increase her haemoglobin level to 14.8 g/dL. Using all the blood conservation techniques which is practiced at our unit for all patients, the surgery was conducted. It was successful and no blood transfusion was required during the entire procedure.”
Dr Murali Chakravarthy, Dept of Anesthesia explained that bloodless surgery is a risky situation and can lead to hemorrhagic shock in the patient.
“As we had ensured the patient and family that their religious belief will be respected we had to be extra careful. Routinely at our unit, we practice stringent blood conservation methods, which came in handy in Bibiche’s case.”
Roger Muamba, husband of Mrs Bibiche, said, “We were very worried about her treatment as we belong to Jehovah Witness community and were not sure if we would receive a treatment wherein our beliefs are considered. We were very happy with the doctors,”