What are the disadvantages of preoperative autologous donation for transfusion?

Updated: Apr 16, 2019
  • Author: Linda L Maerz, MD, FACS, FCCM; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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In general, preoperative autologous donation limits (but does not eliminate) the infectious, immunologic, and hemolytic complications of allogeneic blood transfusion. Although accepted by patients and many surgeons, preoperative autologous donation is encumbered by unexpected disadvantages. These disadvantages include patient inconvenience and the cost of processing the blood. Because many patients require no blood, up to one third of collected units are discarded. Patients are frequently rendered anemic at the time of their operation, increasing the likelihood that transfusion will be necessary. Even though these patients would be transfused with their own blood, risk is still present. The most common cause of hemolytic transfusion reactions is clerical error, and predonated blood is not exempt. Changes in blood during storage may render patients susceptible to complications, such as TRALI, even if the transfused blood is their own. [65]

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