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A Jehovah’s Witness with Complex Abdominal Trauma and Coagulopathy: Use of Factor VII and a Review of the Literature

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Management of acute bleeding in patients who are Jehovah’s Witnesses remains a challenge. Clearly, the most important concept is meticulous and early hemostasis to minimize ongoing blood loss. This is generally followed by supportive measures. Dilutional coagulopathy can present a real challenge, as therapeutic options are quite limited in this group of patients. We present a patient who arrived in hemorrhagic shock, and despite early surgical therapy, his significant blood loss caused dilutional coagulopathy that we treated with activated factor VIIa. While use of factor VIIa after injury is gaining popularity, data on its use in patients who are Jehovah’s Witnesses is quite limited. In this case, we believe the product was life-saving. Most importantly, there were no religious objections to its use. In appropriate patients, when surgical bleeding is controlled and there is still evidence of dilutional coagulopathy, factor VIIa may have a real role in patients, particularly those who are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
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Keywords: Research Article

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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