UCT Private Academic Hospital
UCT Private Academic Hospital

+27 (0)21 442 1800

Before Surgery

Before anaesthesia

Please take important note of the following if you are undergoing a procedure which requires anaesthetic:

  • All make-up and nail polish needs to be removed before anaesthesia.
  • Please follow the fasting requirements for your own safety and comfort. Your doctor will let you know what they are before your surgery. Should you fail to comply, your procedure may be delayed or even cancelled.
  • Please communicate with your doctor regarding any routine medication you may be on such as for diabetes or hypertension and blood thinners.

Blood conservation

This is a programme where we strive to reduce or avoid the use of blood transfusions using anonymous or donor blood.

The alternatives available are the following:

Pre-operative autologous donation: 2 to 3 weeks before their surgery, patients can donate their own blood; which is then stored by the South African National Blood Service until or if it is needed during or after your surgery. You can call 08000 119 031 for more information.

Intra-operative haemodilution: In this case, the patient’s blood is drawn in theatre before the surgery. The volume is then replace with intravenous fluid to dilute the blood – which lowers the concentration of red blood cells. This reduces the volume of red blood cells lost during surgery. Immediately after the surgery is finished, the blood is transfused back into the patient.

Cell Salvage: State-of-the-art systems are used to wash, filter and transfuse the blood lost during surgery straight back into the patient’s body. This can be used during situations such as emergency blood loss and also planned procedures. There are drains that collect the blood and once it’s filtered, it’s returned to the patient within 6 hours after the surgery.

Medication: This is used to stimulate the patient’s bone marrow to produce more red blood cells which can be administered after surgery to boost the red blood cell count.

Please note that these alternative techniques must be prescribed and approved by your clinician. For more information, please speak to your ward manager or contact our Blood Conservation Coordinator.