Welcome to eTenet
Services & Specialties
Events Calendar
Physician Finder
What's New
About Us
Wound Care Center
Digestive Health Institute
& Heartburn Center
Cancer Center
Center for Bloodless
Medicine & Surgery

Health Centers
Life Issues
Exercise & Fitness
Cool Tools
Test Your Health

Tenet Healthcare Corp.
General Information
Your Health
Join Tenet
Privacy Pledge

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q  R S T U V W X  Y Z 

Autologous Blood Donation


Autologous blood donation (autologous means "related to self") is donating blood before surgery, and receiving your own blood during and after surgery. It is usually considered better and safer than receiving someone else's blood. (Blood intended for use by someone other than the donor is known as "homologous.")

(Back to Top)


The AIDS epidemic has had a great many consequences, few of them positive. But one favorable result has been increased use of a transfusion procedure in which persons facing elective surgery can donate their own blood to themselves before surgery. Many people have become concerned about being exposed to AIDS and other diseases through blood transfusions. Even though the risk of transfusion-transmitted AIDS appears to be very small, some people may feel any risk is too great.

All volunteer homolgous donations are now tested for the presence of many infectious disease markers such as the antibody to the human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B surface antigen, antibody to HCV (non-A, non-B) and syphilis. Homologous blood units testing positive for these markers must be discarded. This makes the risk of transmitting a virus through a homologous blood transfusion almost nonexistent.

(Back to Top)

Advantages of Autologous Donation

Some advantages of donating one's own blood for later use are:

1. reduced risk of infectious disease transmission

2. reduced risk of transfusion reactions related to differences between donor and recipient, such as blood type

3. a more rapid replacement by your body of blood lost during surgery, since the bone marrow where blood cells form has already been activated by the process of donating blood

4. less demand on the community blood supply

Conditions that might prevent someone from donating blood to others do not necessarily prevent autologous donations. For example, people who would be ineligible to donate blood because they are on medication or because they have other medical conditions may be able to donate autologously. Age limits and other restrictions on blood donors also may vary for the autologous donor.

An underlying principle of good surgical practice is to keep bleeding to a minimum, and transfusions are not needed for most planned operations. Emergency surgery and some medical conditions account for the majority of transfusions. However, there are some procedures (generally orthopedic, cardiac, chest, gynecological, and blood vessel surgery) in which enough blood will be lost to require transfusing.

When autologous donation is suggested, the patient's physician and the local blood bank's medical director determine if such a donation is indicated. The major consideration is simply the health of the patient.

Autologous donations can provide some or all of the blood components needed for surgery. However, autologous donations may not completely eliminate the possibility that the specific operation might need additional blood from other donors. Occasionally, some people may not be able to donate enough of their own blood to meet their needs. But even partial use of autologous blood will reduce the chance of an infection or adverse reaction from a transfusion of blood from other donors.

(Back to Top)

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

How will I know if blood will be needed for my surgery?

If I donate blood to be used by me, how long can it be stored?

Are there any medications that would prevent me from being able to autologously donate blood?

Is there an age limit for autologous blood donation?

Are there any down-side risks to autologous blood donation?

(Back to Top)

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q  R S T U V W X  Y Z 
Physician Finder
Events Calendar
Newsletter Signup!
Test Your Health
Maps & Directions