Hemoglobin-Based Oxygen Carrier for Traumatic Hemorrhagic Shock Treatment in a Jehovah’s Witness


Department of Surgery, Division of Acute Care Surgery (Trauma, Burns, Critical Care, Emergency Surgery), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA



Treatment of severe hemorrhagic shock due to acute blood loss from traumatic injuries in a Jehovah’s witness (JW) trauma patient is very challenging since hemostatic blood product resuscitation is limited by refusal of the transfusion of allogeneic blood products.

Case Presentation
We describe a multifaceted approach to the clinical care of a severely anemic JW trauma patient including the early administration of a bovine hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier (HBOC) as a bridge to resolution of critical anemia (nadir hemoglobin 3.9 g/dL). Hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier infusions were used to supplement oxygen delivery until endogenous erythropoiesis could restore adequate red blood cell mass. Subsequent endogenous bone marrow recovery was supported by early administration of high-dose erythropoiesis-stimulating agents and iron supplementation.

Early HBOC administration can be used in the treatment of severe hemorrhagic shock in trauma patients who refuse allogeneic blood.