Autologous blood donation as the term indicates is the process of collecting and re-infusing of one’s own blood. It is generally performed when the patient is about to undergo a surgery that results in great loss of blood. The patient can donate his blood 72 hours before undergoing the surgery. Now, let’s see the benefits and risks associated with autologous blood donation.
• This concept of blood donation is started to overcome the effects of blood shortage and effects such as exposure to diseases that are transmitted through blood transfusion such as AIDS, hepatitis and other bacterial infection.
• It is possible that if the blood is taken from others there is a great chance for blood destruction by antibodies secreted by the recipient in response to donor’s blood. Antibodies will be secreted in some cases even if a compatible blood type is chosen for transfusion. This problem can be avoided with autologous blood transfusion.
• Ready availability of blood increases the chances to save life in cases of emergency.
As with any other procedure, autologous blood donation is also associated with certain risks. As with allogenic blood transfusion, this method of blood transfusion also poses the risk of death due to infusion of large volumes of blood, contamination of blood with bacteria and hemolysis that result in huge loss of blood. In patients who are donating the blood for the first time may experience dizziness or light headedness at the time of donation. Hence, they should accompany with another person at the time of donation. It is possible that the point where the needle is injected may cause a wound that is painful and in some diabetic patients it may not heal. Therefore, it is essential to take appropriate measures to avoid the above risks at the time of donation.
Who Is Eligible?
All patients that are about to undergo a surgery are not right candidates for autologous blood donation. Individuals undergoing surgeries such as joint replacement surgery, cardiac and thoracic surgeries, vaginal hysterectomy and other surgeries that result in excessive blood loss and having the essential hemoglobin concentration are right candidates for autologous blood donation. It is also essential to check the rate of new blood cell formation to prevent anemia. To carry out the process of autologous blood transfusion for children, they have to weigh more than 65 pounds. Make sure that you do not have any health disorders that cause problem at the time of blood donation. Patient who is about to undergo a surgery can donate about 45 ml of blood every two weeks and up to 72 hrs before undergoing surgery. To compensate this blood loss and promote the production of blood cells, iron supplements are prescribed.
Though the process is highly beneficial it is a costly procedure and consequently not in the reach of everyone. Some insurance companies started to cover these expenses. It is essential to check with your insurance company before undergoing the procedure.
Increase in the awareness among people about the importance of autologous blood is encouraging a great degree of research to invent new strategies to procure and store autologous blood.