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Jehova Witnesses in a car accident

Traffic accidents often lead to wide spectre of different injuries that can greatly endanger the life of a crew. Even at first glance minor injuries can cause extensive internal bleeding with large blood loss. In such cases, inevitable immediate intervention is necessary, mostly with a blood transfusion products/blood derivatives. But what if a patient belongs to a group of so-called blood transfusion rejectors? Do you know when you can replace your patient's blood loss with these products and when will you try to find another way of replacing? Our algorithm offers you the opportunity to solve the model of a traffic accident involving Jehovah's Witnesses who are known to belong to a group of people rejecting blood transfusions. There are nearly 16,000 Jehovas Whittnesses in the Czech Republic, so the chance occuring this kind of situation is not negligible. The laws mentioned in the algorithm are valid for the Czech Republic, therefore situation in the English-speaking countries may differ.

Author: Martina Klincová, MD, Lucie Moťková, MD, Anna Juhásová, Juliána Šimová

Institution: Faculty of Medicine at Masaryk University in Brno

Medical discipline: Emergency Medicine

Keywords: car accident | transfusion | negative revers | bloodless medicine/transfusion alternatives | previously expressed wish

Educational evel: Undergraduate level | Graduate

Traffic accidents often lead to wide spectre of different injuries that can greatly endanger the life of a crew. Even at first glance minor injuries can cause extensive internal bleeding with large blood loss. In such cases, inevitable immediate intervention is necessary, mostly with a blood transfusion products/blood derivatives. But what if a patient belongs to a group of so-called blood transfusion rejectors? Do you know when you can replace your patient's blood loss with these products and when will you try to find another way of replacing? Our algorithm offers you the opportunity to solve the model of a traffic accident involving Jehovah's Witnesses who are known to belong to a group of people rejecting blood transfusions. There are nearly 16,000 Jehovas Whittnesses in the Czech Republic, so the chance occuring this kind of situation is not negligible.
The laws mentioned in the algorithm are valid for the Czech Republic, therefore situation in the English-speaking countries may differ.


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The patient is entitled according to the applicable law for the provision of health services at the appropriate professional level, always with his free and informed consent, except for the exceptions stipulated by the law. In clinical practice, we encounter situations where a patient's proposed treatment is refused by an informed reversal or previously expressed wishes. Basic knowledge of the medical law is an integral part of medicine today. For this reason, it is more than beneficial to create a situation scenario focusing on rejecting life-saving treatment in a typical group of patients, such as Jehovah's Witnesses. The case-by-case algorithm shows the risks, possibilities, and justifications of individual procedures.

publikováno: 1.7.2018 | last modified on: 1.7.2018