Updated at: 30-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

When a person donates blood for their own use prior to or during a scheduled procedure, it is known as an autologous blood donation. An autologous blood transfusion is one in which the patient’s own blood is used again.

An allogeneic blood transfusion, on the other hand, uses blood from a different person.

The primary reasons for an autologous transfusion are to reduce the risk of acquiring a bloodborne infection or to ensure an ample supply of blood for yourself if blood resources are scarce.

If blood supplies are limited, an autologous transfusion can help you avoid a bloodborne infection or ensure that you have enough blood on hand.

Facts You Need To Know About Autologous Blood Donation

You can use an autologous transfusion to lower your risk of infection or to ensure that you have enough blood on hand if the supply is limited.

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What is blood donation?

Donating blood is the same as giving blood. However, things aren’t quite that straightforward. To put it another way, blood donation means giving someone else their life. In order to help others live longer, the most common thing that people may do is to aid them When donating blood, a machine is used to draw blood from the donor. It’s up to the donation facility to decide whether or not they want to accomplish things the old-fashioned way or with a gadget.

Donating blood is complicated because of the variety of blood donations that can be made. There are a number of different types of blood donations, and many people get tripped up because of this. A good example of this is blood donation, such as whole blood donation, matched blood donation, and so on.

What does autologous mean?

The term “autologous” has a wide range of definitions on the internet, but we’d want to focus on those that are relevant to our discussion on autologous blood donations. In the medical field, we use the term “autologous” to refer to transplants of blood, tissues, and other organs that originate from the same person. It’s like donating to your own benefit.

What an autologous blood donation is?

Now that you know what an autologous blood donation is, you’re ready to go on. You don’t need to be concerned. Let us help you out with this one, okay? In an autologous blood donation, the beneficiary and donor are the same person, hence one person donates blood for the benefit of another.

Let’s dive deeper into this issue now, shall we? A variety of scenarios exist in which a blood donor can also be the recipient of the blood they donated, and doctors have the discretion to permit any of these scenarios to occur.

When a patient is scheduled for an operation that may necessitate the use of excessive amounts of blood, such as open heart surgery, the doctor may enable the patient to donate their own blood. If the donor’s blood type is rare and he doesn’t have a family member who can donate blood, there is another situation. If this happens, he will only be able to show up if he’s healthy enough and has permission from the doctor. To learn more about autologous blood donation, keep reading.

How long does autologous blood last?

If you’d want to learn more about how this blood donation works, you should read on. It’s common for an autologous blood donation to take place a few weeks or months before you need it. Donors need to take a break after donating and before undergoing surgery. These blood collections are only going to be here for a short period of time before they are removed. 35 days would be a reasonable estimate. At a temperature of four degrees Celsius, the shelf life of a red blood cell is about the same. As a result, this is a prime example of a successful autologous blood donation.

Adult donors/patients are usually able to donate a considerable volume of red blood cells prior to surgery. That equates to around three red blood cell units. That’s a big benefit when it comes to preserving blood during operations. Where it is impossible to ensure the safety and cleanliness of the blood of all other donors, this procedure may be used. Autologous blood transfers are preferred for the patient’s safety, as well as for a better possibility of successful operation. Please take a look at it by clicking on the link provided. Transfusion of the patient’s own red blood cells (autologous blood transfusion)


Autologous blood transfusions come in four flavors. It’s impossible to say which one is better than the other. In addition to these, there are:

  • Prior to surgery, blood is obtained for preoperative autologous donation (PAD). The blood is then preserved in a blood bank and given back to the donor when needed.
  • Surgery necessitates the use of acute normovolemic hemodilution (ANH), which entails the immediate evacuation of blood following anesthesia. After that, the same volume of replacement fluid is infused back into the patient’s bloodstream to keep blood volume and pressure at normal levels.
  • A cell saver machine is used to instantly replenish blood lost during surgery as part of an intraoperative cell salvage approach. In addition to removing blood clot-forming debris, the device also injects an anticoagulant into the system.
  • In postoperative cell salvage, wound drains are used to recover blood that has been lost during surgery. As with intraoperative cell salvage, blood is treated and reintroduced after surgery rather than during.

Autologous Blood Donations

An autologous blood transfusion may be an option if your procedure is scheduled several weeks in advance. After surgery, you will receive a transfusion of the blood you had drawn before the procedure.

You’ll reap various advantages from having your own blood transfusion. Antibodies from other countries will not cause an allergic reaction. As long as your body recognizes and accepts your own blood, it will. In addition, there is no risk of a disease being passed from one person’s blood to another.

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When you arrange your surgery well in advance, an autologous blood transfusion is possible. In an emergency situation, this is not a choice. Additionally, only surgeries conducted at Strong Memorial Hospital or Highland Hospital can use blood obtained at this facility. If you’re having surgery at a different facility, you’ll need to get in touch with the facility directly or the American Red Cross for more information.

Here are the steps you need to follow if you are interested in an autologous blood transfusion.

Step 1: Ask your doctor

Donating blood for surgery is an option that may be available to you, so talk to your doctor about it. Your doctor can evaluate if you’re healthy enough to donate blood and whether or not the surgery you’re having will necessitate a transfusion in order to complete the procedure.

Donors who are deemed “High Risk” by the Blood Bank Physician will have their first donation scrutinized by the Blood Bank Physician. A list of “high-risk” donors includes cardiac patients, patients with infections or seizures, pregnant women, and children under the age of 18. (children must be at least ten years old, and weigh at least 65 pounds).

Step 2: Prepare for your donation

It’s critical that your blood and body are in tip-top shape. The production of new red blood cells necessitates the use of iron. When you donate blood, you remove iron from your system. Anemia can be caused by an iron deficiency. Including iron-rich meals and vitamin C-rich foods in your diet may help you maintain a healthy iron level. In addition, an iron supplement is recommended. Elemental iron at a dose of 65 mg is considered adequate. Ferrous sulfate, a 325 mg iron supplement, can be gotten by mixing it with orange juice or a meal and taking it once every other day. As soon as possible after scheduling your appointment, begin taking the iron and continue for four months after surgery. If you’re unsure about how long you’ll need the supplement after surgery, ask your doctor or surgeon.

Step 3: Schedule your appointment

You and your doctor will need to fill out a paper requesting autologous blood donation once you and your doctor have agreed on a date for your surgery. The following details must be included in the prescription written by your physician:

  • Your official name in the law
  • Your birth date
  • The time and date of your surgical procedure.
  • How much blood you’ll need, in units.

To schedule an appointment with the Blood Bank secretary, contact the donor program after your doctor has sent or faxed the request form to the Donor Program. Depending on how much blood you need to donate, you may have to make more than one appointment. You must have at least three days between your appointments. Three days before your procedure, all autologous blood donations should be done. Donations should be scheduled at least seven days apart and at least seven days prior to surgery to avoid complications. Plan your appointments ahead of time in case you are sick, have low blood counts, or experience difficulties getting your blood drawn and must reschedule.

Having someone drive you to and from your appointments is also a good idea.

585-275-9662 is the phone number to call to make an appointment.

Step 4: Make your donation

Be careful to eat regularly the day before your visit. Don’t forget to stay hydrated as well.

A skilled, specially trained technician performs the procedure, which typically takes seven to ten minutes. The needle may sting a little bit, but the donation should be pain-free for the donor. The needle and other donation-related items are brand new, single-use, and only used once.

Depending on your weight, each donation requires about a pint of whole blood. You may easily spare one of your eight to twelve pints of blood. After the donation, you’ll get some time to relax and enjoy some refreshments. Attendance at your appointment is likely to take an hour or so.

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Important Facts about Autologous Blood Donations

  • Appointments are required for autologous blood collection.
  • You may not have enough autologous units to meet your demands. If this is the case, you may be able to get more blood from the local blood bank.
  • It is just for your use and will not be given to the general population.
  • A 65 mg elemental iron supplement (325 mg ferrous sulfate) once every other day can help keep your blood hemoglobin at a healthy level. Ferrous sulfate is best taken with food or juice. A diet rich in natural iron is also recommended.
  • Your medical history and physical exam may indicate that you are ineligible to donate. Donors must be in good health.
  • If the technician has trouble getting into your veins, you may not be able to donate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the age limits for participating in this program?

Whether a child is too young to undergo a procedure is based on how well he or she understands and cooperates with the operation. Ten-year-olds and 65-pounders are eligible to donate. It is required that a parent or guardian be present at the time of the initial donation for children under the age of 17 and those who are unable to give consent. A person can be as old as they want to be. In order to be considered for the program, all applicants must pass a brief medical history and physical examination.

Should I eat before my blood donation?

Yes. Before donating, make sure to eat frequently and drink plenty of water.

How long does the collection process take?

It takes anything from 7 to 10 minutes for the blood to be collected. There is a 20-30-minute time commitment for you to complete your health history and mini-physical, as well as the paperwork necessary to ensure that your blood unit is properly identified.

Should I stop taking my medication before my donation appointment?

Despite the fact that we will ask for a list of the medications you are now taking, you should continue to follow your doctor’s orders.

When should I begin my donation?

Depending on the number of units that need to be collected, donation schedules can be modified to suit your needs. Before your scheduled procedure, you can begin donating up to 35 days in advance. Within 72 hours of undergoing surgery, you are ineligible to donate.

Will my blood be tested for diseases?

The transfusion facility does not currently need viral and infectious marker testing for autologous donations. Only ABO/Rh typing and an antibody screening are performed. If the unit is to be used at Highland Hospital, infectious disease testing is required.

Will the blood I donate meet all my transfusion needs?

When you donate your own autologous units, they will be kept until you need them for surgery. Plasma and platelets, as well as whole blood and packed cells, are also sometimes used. Additional packed cells beyond the autologous units you gave may be required. Additional packed cells and blood components are sourced from the community blood supply, which is thoroughly screened and tested for infectious illnesses before being used.

What do I do if my surgery is postponed?

The Strong Memorial Hospital Donor Program must be notified immediately if your surgery is postponed, rescheduled, cancelled, or if additional surgery is planned. Your blood may go bad or be unavailable if you don’t notify the SMH Donor Program in time.

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If I donate my own blood for my surgery, what happens to it if I do not need it?

Upon expiration, autologous units are disposed of because they can’t be used on another patient.

How do I know I will receive my own blood?

Blood units are identified and tagged with the patient’s name and medical record number using a unique system of identification and tagging. Your own blood will be given to you as a result.

What should I do if I’m feeling ill on the day of my appointment or currently taking an antibiotic?

One option is to call the Strong Memorial Hospital Donor Program at (585) 275-9662 to find out whether or not it is possible to donate.

It’s A Wrap!

What is blood donation through autologous means? An autologous donation has been explained to you now. Many people might benefit from learning about this. Here, we’re discussing blood donations, which is a great way to learn more about blood. Double red cell donation is something you might be interested in learning about because it’s a great way to help others. For more information on where your blood donation goes, check out this article.