Is Bloodless Surgery More Expensive than Traditional Surgery?
Transfusions and their associated medical complications raised hospital costs by more than 40%.” -Circulation
“The annual cost to the health industry for using blood exceeds $7billion annually.” -Health Industry Today
Is Bloodless Surgery more expensive than traditional surgery?
No. In fact Bloodless Surgery is considerably cheaper. Some say an average of $20,000 others between $30,000 and $40,000 dollars per surgery.
How is this possible? First of all, blood itself is extremely expensive, ranging, some say from $500 to $900 per unit. However, newer data, conducted in 2008, estimates that the true cost of a unit of blood exceeds $3000 dollars in the United States. Surveys in the past apparently looked only at the cost of the unit of blood itself and not all the ancillary costs.
Buying blood is not like buying furniture. A chair is brought home and put in the living room. The costs after purchase are very minimal. Maintenance is almost zero. Not so with blood.
Buying blood is like buying a Kentucky Derby race horse – once it’s put in the barn incredible costs are incurred to maintain it. Veterinarians, caretakers, expensive feed and other expenses are involved in the real costs of an exotic thoroughbred.
High subsidiary costs
Apparently the subsidiary costs of maintaining blood, controlling it and administering it to the patient etc, is higher than previously estimated. In this respect, a unit of blood is not like a quart of milk. Grocery store workers and grocery store overhead is low compared to that of a hospital. High salaried hospital personnel and expensive hospital overhead all figure into the true costs of maintaining storing and administering blood.
The report will be made public soon. Those who oversaw the survey are internationally respected physicians who hold high credentials. MyBlood will post the report as soon as it is made available to the public.
The high cost of blood and surgery
A liver surgery, as an extreme example, can consume as much as 43 units of blood. Some liver surgeries consume more than 75 units of blood. Multiply just 50 units of blood times $3,000 and the cost of this surgery is ridiculous – placing a huge unnecessary burden on the health system. A Bloodless Surgeon can perform the same surgery with zero units of blood and save the health system and the insurance company $150,000.
Hepatitis C is common in America. This form of Hepatitis can result in liver cancer. The long term prognosis for the number of liver transplants that will be needed in the future is staggering and the cost of blood will only add to this expense. Bloodless Surgery can reduce those costs.
Cardiac surgery is also a huge consumer of the blood supply. The number of heart surgeries continues to climb and use massive quantities of transfused blood. And yet, the first Bloodless Open Heart Surgery was performed over 45 yeas ago. Bloodless Heart Operations are common place around the world. The additional cost of blood for these surgeries is preventable.
Bloodless Surgery can drastically reduce the cost of one of the most common surgeries in the western world.
A second reason for the lower cost of Bloodless Surgery: the average hospital stays are shorter because the patient recovers faster. Reduced hospital stays reduce hospital costs. Average cost per day hovers around $1000 to $4000 per day nationwide in the United States and will only increase. Some regions have even higher costs.
“Last year, Hawaii hospitals discharged 134,546 patients whose hospitalizations cost a total of $2.74 billion. The average length of stay for each patient was 5.18 days, with each stay costing an average of $22,596”. -Linda Chiem, Pacific Business News
“Patient stays in acute care hospitals account for the largest share (47%) of hospital spending in Canada, according to a new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). The report, which examined 2.4 million recorded hospital stays (outside of Quebec), estimates that on average each patient stay costs almost $7,000, with a wide variation in cost by medical condition.” -Canadian Institute for Health Information
As Dr. Bridges said “Among the benefits [of Bloodless Surgery] are reductions in recovery time, [and] hospital stay.”
Conversely, the average hospital stay of patients who receive transfusions is higher. The true cost of administering blood goes far beyond the cost of a unit of blood. If the average stay for a transfusion recipient is only one and a half days calculate that cost times the tens of thousands of surgeries performed and the true cost of giving blood is in the billions of dollars annually.
Medical costs continue to soar at astronomical rates. Bloodless Surgery is one dramatic way to lower these costs. Not only is Bloodless Surgery for everyone - it benefits everybody by reducing hospital costs for all patients – including, oddly enough, those who receive blood transfusions.
Bloodless Surgery and the ICU
A third reason that Bloodless Surgery is cheaper than conventional surgery is that the negative reactions to blood transfusion often result in ICU admission. Intensive Care Unit costs per day exceed regular rates in hospitals.
Once a patient ends up in an intensive care unit his chances of receiving more blood transfusions increases. This can set a vicious cycle in motion since the more blood the patient receives the more complications set in, the longer the hospital stay and the higher the cost of his hospital stay.
One report shows that women are particularly prone to be admitted to an intensive care unit. It states that the odds are 21 times higher that a female will receive a blood transfusion. This results in more admissions to the ICU, more time spent in the ICU and more deaths in the ICU.
The cost of blood to our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters is truly staggering. Women should be pounding on the doors of Bloodless Hospitals and begging for admission.
“Blood transfusions also correlated with more days of fever more days in intensive care, and a longer hospital stay particularly if the patient got more than 4 units of blood.” -The Medical News
Once a patient ends up in an intensive care unit his chances of leaving the hospital alive diminish significantly. The financial cost of a family who looses a loved one must also be calculated into the cost of giving blood transfusions. Though the death of a patient may not increase hospital costs these unnecessary deaths do burden a nation’s economy as valuable members of society are lost.
Bloodless Surgery drastically reduces the number of admissions to intensive care units and substantially lowers hospital costs.
Bloodless Medicine is a money saver
“Where the Strategic Blood Management™ System was implemented at a 750-bed Midwestern tertiary referral medical center… total [annual] hospital cost savings $9,000,000” -Strategic Blood Management
If the cost to a medium sized hospital for using blood is 9,000,000 dollars annually what is the cost to the national health system?
Western Australia calculates that blood products represent 5% of the annual health expense for that region and as a result the government has instituted the first official Patient Blood Management system of its kind. The aim is to reduce and eliminating as many blood transfusions as possible.
One country in Europe estimated that blood transfusions cost their country 10% of its annual budget.
Blood is truly expensive. Bloodless Surgery is cheap. In fifty years historians will look back and shake their heads in amazement at the incredible foolishness of health systems that squandered so much money needlessly in order to support a medical myth – an albatross whose inordinate costs crushed the medical establishment.
Is Bloodless Surgery More Expensive than Traditional Surgery? The answer is a resounding no. Not only is it cheaper it is significantly cheaper in many respects.
Listen to the experts
“The odds that a woman would receive blood were more than 21 times that of men. Women were also more likely to be infected, have breathing problems, spend more time in intensive care and die in the hospital.” Nicholas Bakalar in The New York Times - Based on a Study by The Journal of Women’s Health
“Patients who were given a transfusion had significantly higher mortality in intensive care and overall mortality than patients who weren’t.” -BMJ
“An epidemiologic survey of 3,534 patients in 146 western European ICUs, confirmed increased mortality rates (ICU and hospital) in transfused patients.” -The Journal of the Society of Anesthesiologists, Vol. 108 January 2008
“Over a third (37%) of patients received at least one blood transfusion during their stay in intensive care. For patients who spent over a week in the unit, the transfusion rate was 73%.” -BMJ
“85% of patients who were in an intensive care unit for a week or longer received at least one blood transfusion .” -Chest 1995;108:767-71
Fourth, post surgical complications and infections increase when blood is administered. This lengthens hospital stays and hospital costs.
The fact is that surgery that includes blood transfusion increases hospital costs by as much as %40 while patients who refuse blood reduce hospital costs.
"Among the benefits are … an estimated $20,000 in savings per patient." -Dr. Charles Bridges, Cardiologist, Pennsylvania Hospital -first link here -second link here
Raymond Talbert: He was able to leave the hospital four days after his heart surgery. Northeast Baptist says other patients who received the same procedure with blood transfusions spent 15 to 22 days in the hospital. -WOAI
Just one unit of donated blood can cost a hospital more than $700. By the time the hospital matches the blood and does the transfusion, the cost to the patient can jump to $1,500 or more. -WOAI
"Surgery associated red blood cell transfusion is the single largest factor associated with increased risk of post-surgical complications following coronary bypass." -Colleen Gorman Koch, M.D., M.S., from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation
"There is very strong evidence that patients who receive more blood have more post operative infection, have more renal failure and have more lung dysfunction," -Dr. Bruce Spiess, M.D, Department of Anesthesiology, VCU School of Medicine
“But if we had not implemented the [blood conservation] program, you could add another 30 percent to 35 percent to the budget of $3 million to $3.5 million for blood products.” -Ierachmiel Daskal, MD, PhD, Chairman, Department of Pathology, Albert Einstein Medical Center
"The savings to hospitals that have employed a comprehensive program of reducing blood transfusions is, like, $3 million to $4 million a year. It's saving on the cost of nursing time, the cost of blood, the reduction in infections, side effects and complications." -Dr. Seski, Chief of Gynecologic Oncology, Allegheny General
“Paul Potter, M.D., and a keynote speaker at October's NABMS convention, estimates that using [bloodless surgery] in half of all procedures would save the heath care industry $3.7 billion a year.” -Health Industry Today
“Hospitals must pick up the tab for the first three units of blood infused per patient per calendar year. By contrast, hospitals may be reimbursed for drugs that boost a patient's red blood cell count.” -Jan Hoffman, Administrator, Blood Conservation Program, Geisinger Medical Center