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Blood Conservation Program

Sunnybrook’s Blood Conservation Program participates in the Ontario Transfusion Coordinators network (ONTraC), which is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

The blood conservation team of nurses and physicians specialize in improving a patient’s own blood supply prior to undergoing elective major surgery. They may suggest the use of one, or a combination of treatments with the aim of reducing or eliminating the need for a blood transfusion either during or after the procedure.

The blood conservation team will assess preoperative patients for anemia (low red blood cell counts) and iron deficiency.

Being considered for the blood conservation program

Patients with anemia may be considered for a blood conservation referral if undergoing one of the following procedures:

  • Hip replacement surgery
  • Joint replacement surgery
  • Cardiovascular surgery
  • Major gynecological surgery
  • Liver or major bowel surgery
  • Other elective surgery where the anticipated blood loss is high

Enhancing blood supply pre-surgery

There are some safe and effective options that can be done before surgery to enhance your own blood supply and possibly decrease the impact of surgical blood loss. These include:

  • An iron-rich diet
  • Taking oral iron supplements

» For more information, please visit our "All About Iron" resource page

The blood conservation team may contact you to conduct more detailed assessments, and if necessary, to offer more extensive treatment which may include:


Religious beliefs concerning the use of blood products should be discussed with your surgeon. Please request the “Transfusion and Alternative Options as Selected by Patient” form, obtained from your surgeon’s office, so your health care team is aware of your wishes.

Location and contact

Blood conservation program

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue,
M-wing, ground floor,
room MG 570
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-6100 ext. 2061
Fax: 416-480-4128

Coordinators
Diane Bentley, RN
Mark Iacovelli, RN

Physician Lead
Dr. Yulia Lin