Aim: To determine if a significant relationship exists between bloodless medicine practices and decreased infection rates in oncology patients following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation by performing a literature review.

Background: It is not uncommon for healthcare professionals to encounter Jehovah's Witnesses (JW) seeking medical treatment in the acute care hospital setting and outpatient clinics alike. However, JW's pose a unique challenge to healthcare providers. Their refusal of blood transfusions makes them a population of interest within the medical community. The refusal of blood transfusions also poses a serious challenge to successful treatment in oncology JW patients, and many hospitals will refuse to perform a procedure as complex yet beneficial as a hematopoietic stem cell transplant in this population.

Methods: An extensive electronic literature search in the CINAHL Plus database was completed and included the keywords infection, blood transfusion, stem cell transplant, bloodless medicine, Jehovah's Witnesses, and transfusion reactions. The available literature was carefully examined for interventions performed and compared for ultimate results to be finalized as a written report.

Significance: The results of this research can not only optimize healthcare for the population of Jehovah's Witnesses, but also assist in reduced blood transfusions and improved cost management in all patients with a cancer diagnosis.

Conclusions: All studies concluded that autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation can be performed safely without the use of blood products. Their conclusion was based off of the data they collected following patients post-stem cell transplant. More research is needed to explore outcomes in this population as a result of blood transfusion refusal following stem cell transplantation in comparison with those who receive blood transfusion support.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Peralta, Heather


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)


College of Nursing



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date