International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-018-2490-7 Pages: 432-437

Obstetric outcomes and acceptance of alternative therapies to blood transfusion by Jehovah’s Witnesses in Japan: a single-center study

1. Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Correspondence to:
Shinya Matsuzaki
Tel: +81-6-6879-3355



We sought to investigate obstetric outcomes and acceptance rates for blood products or types of autotransfusion by Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) at a single institution in Japan. We retrospectively reviewed cases of 84 pregnant JW patients and 95 deliveries from April 2001 to August 2017. We examined the acceptance rates of blood transfusions, blood products, and autotransfusion types in patients who experienced postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), and investigated estimated hemorrhage volume at delivery and PPH treatments. Of the 84 JW patients, none accepted blood transfusion; however, 75 patients (89.3%) accepted blood products, 57 (67.9%) accepted autotransfusion using intraoperative cell salvage, and four (4.8%) refused all alternatives to blood transfusion. Furthermore, PPH > 1000 mL occurred in 18 of the 95 (18.9%) deliveries. Of these 18 patients, four (22.2%) required blood products and three (16.7%) required supracervical hysterectomy to control PPH. No maternal deaths occurred. Approximately 95% of the patients observed accepted all or some alternatives to blood transfusion. To treat JW patients in a safer manner, understanding their individual acceptance of alternatives to blood transfusion is important for the strategic use of such alternatives.

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