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.
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