What do you do if you need to undergo a surgery without blood transfusion because your religion does not permit it?
You go to a surgeon who has the skill to operate on you without blood loss.
A miracle as it may sound, a surgery minus blood transfusion is what saved the life of Eromosene, a 16-year-old Jehovah follower, who was suffering from scoliosis (sideways curve of the spine causing deformity of the back).
He underwent a seven-hour surgery without blood transfusion at New Delhi’s Apollo Hospital because his faith prohibited him from accepting blood from anyone.
“In our religion, blood is considered sacred. We cannot accept it in any form,” said the boy’s father Erohube.
The family came to India after it became clear that they could not get Eromosene treated in Nigeria.
“In this kind of surgery, you lose around two litres of blood. Knowing that blood transfusion would not be possible in this case, we had to evolve a strategy to increase his haemoglobin level. His haemoglobin was already below normal. We gave him iron tablets and erythropoietin to boost it up,” said Dr Yash Gulati, senior consultant, orthopaedics, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, who led the surgical team.
“We minimised blood loss during the operation by quick and efficient surgery. Even the little blood loss that occurred during the surgery was put in a special chamber called cell saver. Later, the same blood cells were put in his system and thereby there was very little blood loss,” he added.