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Westchester Residents Learn About Bloodless Medicine In New Rochelle

Doctors and members of NewYork Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital gathered to speak about bloodless medicine on Saturday. Photo Credit: Contributed
Naixi “Nelson” Li, MD, chief of anesthesiology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital, talks to the audience. Photo Credit: Contributed
Michael C. Pitter, MD, Columbia obstetrician/gynecologist and da Vinci Robot surgeon, talks with attendees after the presentation. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- More than 1,000 attended NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital's forum on bloodless medicine at Beckwithe Pointe in New Rochelle on Saturday.

Nine physicians and surgeons talked about the ways surgeries and other medical procedures are carried out without the need forblood transfusions. Those included minimally invasive “keyhole” surgeries, robotic surgeries and other methods.

Many of those in attendance were Jehovah’s Witnesses, who avoid blood transfusions as a religious matter.

Yonkers resident Joi Powell said that, as a Jehovah’s Witness, she was happy to know the NYP/Lawrence program – one of three bloodless medicine centers in the tri-state area – was nearby in Bronxville.“It’s a comfort to know that it’s there,” she said.

"But as technology advances, bloodless medicine is becoming more popular for other benefits," Dr. Ahmed Asif, a doctor affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital, told the audience. "Patients who receive bloodless procedures have been shown to recover faster, have shorter hospital stays they experience fewer infections, they avoid allergic reactions and a whole host of other pretty serious side effects.”

The doctors who presented were from NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital; Lawrence Medical Associates; NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center; and ColumbiaDoctors.

Attendee Rondi Milledge said that having a bloodless medicine program speaks well of a hospital.

“A hospital that is into bloodless medicine is on the cutting edge,” said she said. “They’re offering patients alternatives. I personally like that because it’s progressive.”

The following people were in attendance at the event:

Debra Abreu, NYP/Lawrence bloodless medicine and surgery coordinator;  Naixi “Nelson” Li, MD, director of anesthesiology at NYP/Lawrence; Ahmed Asif, MD, hematologist and oncologist, Lawrence Medical Associates; Michael C. Pitter, MD, Columbia obstetrician/gynecologist, da Vinci Robot surgeon; Sophie Chheang, MD, interventional radiology; David Mobley, MD, interventional radiology; Maureen Killackey, MD, obstetrician/gynecologist, oncology administrator; Peter Rizzo, MD, medical director of Bloodless Medicine at NYP/Lawrence; Lynn Chinitz, MD, director, Carol H. Taylor Breast Health Center, Columbia radiologist; Tracey Lewis, vice-president of operations, NYP/Lawrence; Miguel Silva, MD, director of surgery and the Center for Advanced Surgery at NYP/Lawrence.

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