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Jehovah's Witnesses Have Same Heart Surgery Outcomes

Comparable clinical results linked to blood conservation protocols

FRIDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- When blood conservation protocols are used, Jehovah's Witnesses have comparable open cardiac surgery clinical outcomes to those of non-Jehovah's Witnesses, according to research published in the Nov. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Sotiris C. Stamou, M.D., Ph.D., of the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., and colleagues compared the surgical mortality and early outcomes after open cardiac surgery between 49 Jehovah's Witness patients and 196 non-Jehovah's Witness controls. Operative mortality, postoperative ICU care and length of hospital stay were compared after controlling for presurgical risk factors.

The researchers found no significant between-group differences in unadjusted stroke, acute heart attack, new-onset atrial fibrillation, extended ventilation, acute kidney failure and hemorrhage-related reoperation. After controlling for presurgical risk factors, Jehovah's Witnesses had comparable surgical mortality (odds ratio, 0.66), ICU stay (OR, 1.36), and postoperative hospital stay (OR, 1.43) to non-Jehovah's Witnesses.

"Cardiac surgery in Jehovah's Witnesses is associated with clinical outcomes comparable to those of non-Jehovah's Witnesses by adhering to blood conservation protocols," the authors conclude.

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