Department of
Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

Jonathan H. Waters, MD

  • Professor, Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine and Bioengineering
  • Chief of Anesthesiology, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital
  • Director, Blood Management Program

Dr. Waters' areas of expertise primarily focus on transfusion management, blood salvage and obstetrics. He has been federally funded to support investigation in these areas with multiple peer-reviewed publications resulting as well as three books on the topic of blood management. In addition to conducting research, he has served on the editorial board of the journal Transfusion, and is the Associate Editor for the Blood Management section of the journal. He is a former member of the Clinical Transfusion Medicine committee for the American Association of Blood Banks and currently serves on the Committee on Blood Management for the American Society of Anesthesiologists. He is the immediate past president of the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management and its representative within the American Medical Association's Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement. Currently, he co-chairs a technical advisory panel for the Joint Commission which is charged with developing performance measures related to blood management. He just finished chairing a subcommittee for a State of the Science symposium at the National Heart Lung & Blood Institute.

Education & Training

  • BS, Missouri University of Science & Technology
  • MD, George Washington University
  • Residency, New York University, Anesthesiology

Research, clinical, and/or academic interests

Dr. Waters' research focus has been blood management and optimizing services that minimize transfusion. One of these areas is using intraoperative blood salvage. With this technique, shed surgical blood is captured, filtered, washed, and retransfused. In general, use of this technology in obstetrical hemorrhage has been contraindicated due to a fear of entraining amniotic fluid and causing an iatrogenic amniotic fluid embolism. With this work, he demonstrated that blood that is washed and filtered achieves a purity like that of the blood that is circulating in the mother. This was followed by a database analysis demonstrating safety. Currently, Dr. Waters’ research group is working on the safety of this technology in vaginal hemorrhage. Other research has focused on maximizing the use of computerized physician order entry systems to reduce overuse of allogeneic transfusion and to benchmark the use of allogeneic resources. Lastly, Dr. Waters has obtained IRB and FDA approval to use Hemopure, a blood substitute, in Pittsburgh’s large Jehovah’s Witness population.


Transfusion Medicine