Technology helping Greenville surgeons stop bleeding quickly

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Bon Secours St. Francis Health doctors are now using new technology to determine which kind of blood patients need if they are suffering a massive bleeding event.

Bon Secours blood bank manager Amanda Locotosh said it can be difficult to determine which type of blood is needed from donors, and the TEG® 6s technology offers a much needed solution.

“Especially during covid times donations have really dropped off and so we have to be as resourceful as we can be,” she explained. “We have had numerous situations where we were able to pinpoint the reason for bleeding in a situation where they may have thought the patient was bleeding for one reason, and we ran the TEG® and found, no, this is why they’re bleeding.”

She said it works by allowing blood bank managers to run a blood sample from a patient to pinpoint the cause of bleeding in a patient. The machine provides an assessment of a clotting condition so practitioners are able to determine exactly what blood product a patient needs to stop the patient’s bleeding. Surgeons are able to watch the results from the operating room.

“A patient who is bleeding could need red blood cell platelets, cryoprecipitate or fresh frozen plasma or they could need none of those,” she said. “We are able to say, ‘OK, a patient needs platelets and not plasma,’” she explained.

Locotosh said what they had been using, coagulation testing, takes about 40 to 60 minutes, but this technology allows them to have actionable results within 10-15 minutes.

It has mostly been used with open heart surgery patients since Bon Secours began using the new system in June, she said.

“We are able to tell their clotting situation baseline before they go into surgery and then monitor them post-op,” she said. “We know that they have good functioning platelets and they are low risk to take into surgery… We’ve been able to save blood product and we’ve decreased the number of unnecessary transfusions.”

Locotosh also said the TEG® 6s is also beneficial for patients who are admitted to the emergency room after suffering a traumatic injury that caused massive bleeding.

“This has been really good for our patients,” she said. “We have had numerous situations where we were able to pinpoint the reason for bleeding and the situation where they may have thought the patient was bleeding for one reason and we ran the tag and found no this is why they’re bleeding.”

If you would like to donate blood to those who need it, click here for a list of locations where you can donate in the Upstate.

To submit a health question for our series, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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