Sign On San Diego, August 26, 2010

Since opening in 2003, the Sharp Chula Vista's Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Center, has served about 2,000 patients, performing surgeries including heart bypass and valve replacements, joint replacements, and gall bladder removal without transfusions.

"As a community hospital, we felt it was very important to serve the needs of the whole community," center manager Jorge Martinez said. "One segment of the community is Jehovah?s Witnesses. ... They were experiencing obstacles in finding a way to meet their needs."

Doctors use a variety of tools and strategies before and during surgery aimed at minimizing blood loss and improving patient outcomes. Sometimes, it can be as simple as encouraging surgeons to slow down to minimize bleeding.

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