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Origin. The Bloodless Medicine & Surgery Group (BMSG) was formed in 2007 by a group of health workers and stakeholders who are committed to promoting safe and good quality medical care without the use of allogeneic blood transfusion.  The inaugural meeting was held on Friday 9th March 2007 in University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Calabar, Nigeria, with 9 founding members from Surgery, Anesthesiology, Haematology, Internal Medicine, Laboratory Medicine, Nursing Services, and Hospital Liaison Committee of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Dr Nathaniel I. Usoro, a General Surgeon, was the convener and Founding Chairman.
Aims.The BMSG has the following aims, to:

  1. Ensure easy access to Bloodless care for all classes of patients who desire such care.
  2. Promote Bloodless Medicine and Surgery (BMS) as the current standard of care through seminars, lectures, scientific research, publications, public awareness campaigns, and collaborations.
  3. Provide up-to-date information to clinicians and patients about Bloodless Medicine and Surgery (BMS).
  4. Serve as a platform for a Bloodless Medicine & Surgery Program in UCTH, and other hospitals in the sub-region.
  5. Encourage institutional policy changes to reflect the current scientific evidence in favour of blood transfusion avoidance, and thereby improve the quality of patient care.

Major AccomplishmentsSome major accomplishments of BMSG include the following:

  1. Provision of Bloodless care for scores of patients of all classes and backgrounds.  Our physicians have developed protocols for Bloodless management and become adept at various techniques of Blood Conservation, such as intravenous iron perfusion, acute normovolemic hemodilution, and tolerance of anaemia.  Results have been remarkable, and there has been no recorded mortality.
  2. Organization of Hospital Seminars & Symposia on BMS, Blood Conservation, and Patient Blood Management (PBM).  Since 2010 we have held annual CPD events in UCTH featuring international guest speakers and attended by a multidisciplinary audience from within and outside the hospital.
  3. Organization of Bloodless Surgery, Blood Conservation, and PBM Symposia at national and international meetings.  The first was at the Annual Conference of International College of Surgeons (Nigerian National Section) in 2008 in Calabar, Nigeria.  The symposium on Blood Conservation was chaired by Professor Nadey Hakim (UK), renowned transplant surgeon and past president of ICS. 

In 2009, the Chairman of BMSG was invited by Zambia Medical Association as a guest speaker during the Annual Meeting of that association to speak on Blood Conservation in Surgery – a potent weapon in the fight against HIV/AIDS. 
BMS & PBM Symposia organized by BMSG have held in West African College of Surgeons Conferences in Calabar (2010), Senegal (2011), and Abidjan (2015); Ivorian Society of Anaesthesiology, Abidjan (2011); and College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa in Zambia (2012).

  1. Inauguration of Bloodless Surgery Program.   In January 2014 the first formal Bloodless Surgery Program in Africa was inaugurated in UCTH, Calabar, Nigeria.  The support base for the program is the Bloodless Medicine & Surgery Group in UCTH.  The program has enjoyed the support of the Hospital, the University, and the post-graduate colleges.  Medical students receive lectures on techniques of Blood Conservation.
  2. Collaboration.  The Bloodless Surgery Program, UCTH, has enjoyed collaboration with the Bloodless Medicine & Surgery Program in Atlanta Medical Centre, Atlanta GA, USA, and the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management since 2014.  

The Future.  BMSG will support the formation of a Bloodless Medicine & Surgery Society to advance its aims internationally.  It will also strive for the inclusion of Blood Conservation & Bloodless Surgery in the regional postgraduate medical curriculum to improve the practice among specialists. 
More collaborations with other institutions and professional organizations in the area of Bloodless Medicine & Surgery are also being sought, to further research, training, and acquisition of relevant equipment.