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Trauma And Surgery

Any time the integrity of the body is violated blood can be lost. An automobile accident, a wound, a fall, or a surgical procedure all can open the body to blood loss. A trauma or wound that opens a major blood vessel allows blood to be pumped from the closed circulatory system and depletes the blood volume. Certainly the body is not able to replace such a rapid loss of blood cells or plasma.

Surgical procedures have become more and more "bloodless." Refinements in techniques as well as in instrumentation have rendered modern surgical procedures blood-conserving transactions.

A great deal of surgery is carried out using flexible scopes and instruments that can be inserted into the body through very small incisions. The surgical procedure is carried out by the physician who can see the surgical field by means of a miniature camera on the tip of the instrument. Long incisions followed by clamping of bleeding arteries and veins have been replaced. The need for blood transfusions during surgery has been reduced markedly over the past decade. The patient who may need blood replacement is urged to have his own blood collected prior to surgery, so there will be no subsequent problems from the transfusion.

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