How long can Dad survive without blood transfusions?

Mjmiller asked...

My father has myelofibrosis and is not doing well. He has decided to no longer receive blood transfusions as they are not helping and it is hard for him to get out to the hospital two times per week. How long can he survive without these transfusions?

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Myelofibrosis is a rare disease that leads to severe anemia. I am sorry your father is not doing well. It sounds like since the blood transfusions are not working anymore, the focus of his care has turned to keeping him comfortable.

Your question is about his prognosis. To be honest, I am not sure what his prognosis would be. My advice is for you to speak with his hematologist, as this is where you will get the best advice. If they feel he is nearing the end of his life, then I would recommend talking to the doctors about hospice care, as this would help keep your father comfortable in the time he has left.