Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
March 2, 2000
TRENTON - The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services today announced that Jersey Shore Medical Center and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center have been chosen to participate in a bloodless surgery demonstration project.The department granted both hospitals a certificate of need, an approval required by regulation for participation in the program. As part of the project, the hospitals will treat patients as part of a research protocol designed to test the effectiveness of comprehensive bloodless surgery programs compared with conventional surgical programs. Jersey Shore and Englewood were chosen based on the strength of the research designs they had proposed. The two were chosen for the 30-month demonstration program from among seven hospitals applying. All applications were reviewed by physician and research design experts and scored based on how well they met the department's research design requirements. Hospitals will report research data quarterly to the department. "The department is satisfied that each of the proposals has the potential to add to the scientific and medical understanding of the merits of the bloodless surgery approach," said Commissioner Christine Grant. "These projects can provide good data to help us better understand which types of patients can particularly benefit from this approach and whether patients fare better following one type of surgery or the other." Last July, the Health Care Administration Board approved regulations authorizing the department to choose up to two hospitals for the project. The goal is to establish a standard of care for bloodless medicine and surgery, and foster more such comprehensive programs statewide if the research demonstrates the value of such an approach. Bloodless surgery is surgery performed without the use of blood transfusions. It involves special pre-operative and post-operative care as well as the use of special techniques during surgery to minimize blood loss. Cardiac and orthopedic surgery are two types of surgery that can involve considerable blood loss. Bloodless surgery is preferred by some consumers, either for religious reasons or other personal concerns about transfused blood. A comprehensive bloodless medicine and surgery program requires hospital-wide involvement and support, including the administration, all health care providers and support staff, and all medical and surgical disciplines. Hospitals must develop comprehensive policies and procedures and designate a bloodless surgery coordinator. Seven hospitals applied for the demonstration project. Community Medical Center in Toms River submitted an application that was accepted for review, but the department's evaluation found the hospital's research study was not as strong as those of Englewood and Jersey Shore. However, if either of those two do not begin their studies in six months, the department can withdraw approval and determine whether Community should be asked to undertake its study instead. Applications submitted by Hackensack University Medical Center, Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center, St. Elizabeth Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton were not accepted for processing because their research designs were judged not to be as substantial as the other three and thus were removed from consideration since only two could be approved.