Jehovah’s Witness survives severe favism complications: Advance provisions of treatment and new challenges for the physicians
The management of an acute hemolytic event in a patient suffering from favism is based on transfusion support to ensure adequate tissue oxygenation. If this measure could not be pursued, in case of severe anemia the risk of death from multiorgan failure would be relevant. Most of Jehovah’s Witness decline transfusion of whole blood and its main components, even in life-threatening situations. In this context, the treatment of severe anemia in these patients still represents a challenge from both medical and legal stand points. Authors report a case of a Jehovah’s Witness suffering from favism who refused blood transfusion, surviving a severe event of critical anemia associated with acute renal failure, thanks to the application of alternative therapies. It is essential that clinicians know the medico-legal aspects in such situations and are able to act promptly to support the patient’s vital functions, by complying with his/her wishes.
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