The duration and extent of acute hemodilution that the human body can withstand remains unclear. Many consider 184 mL/m/min to be the oxygen delivery (DO2) threshold below which oxygen consumption (VO2) begins to decrease. We describe a critically ill Jehovah's Witness patient who tolerated a much lower level of DO2, coupled with severe acute anemia that persisted for >10 days without any sequelae. This case challenges the currently accepted critical DO2 threshold and highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to increase DO2 and decrease VO2 for best patient outcomes. Minimizing VO2, which is usually underemphasized in current clinical practice, probably played an important role in the survival of this patient.
ASJC Scopus subject areas