Review of Abdominal Solid Organ Transplantation in Jehovah's Witness Patients

World J Transplant. 2019 Sep 26;9(5):94-102. doi: 10.5500/wjt.v9.i5.94.


Managing blood loss in Jehovah's Witness (JW) patients is a matter of controversy. These patients will not accept transfusions of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets or plasma, even if that is required to save their lives. There are many discussions regarding safety of operating upon JW patients in general surgical procedures, but in solid organ transplantation there is a paucity of literature on this subject. We have reviewed individual case reports and small series documenting on experience with solid organ transplantation in JW patients and the strategies adopted to facilitate that. It is clear that such patients require the surgical team to dedicate more time to ensure their safe management. This begins with a thorough, detailed consent of exactly which products and interventions they will or will not accept. Planning must begin weeks before surgery if possible. Each case must be assessed individually, but provided they meet fitness requirements, there are no absolute contraindications to abdominal organ transplantation.

Keywords: Anaemia; Blood transfusion; Informed consent; Jehovah’s Witness; Transplantation.

Publication types

  • Review