Healthsheet

Self Blood Donation

Self Blood Donation

Blood lost during surgery may need to be replaced. Donating your own blood ahead of time is sometimes best. Depositing your own blood before surgery is called autologous blood donation. Talk with your health care provider about whether you should donate your own blood for surgery.

Deciding what's right for you

  • There is less risk of a reaction and infection because it is your own blood.
  • Using your own blood is usually recommended for patients planning elective surgery. In elective surgery, there is a good chance that blood will be needed. Many operations often don't require blood transfusions.
  • There are no set age restrictions.
  • Patients should usually weigh at least 90 pounds.
  • Some conditions would keep you from donating for your own surgery. They are anemia (low red blood cell count), upper respiratory conditions, and abnormal blood pressure.
  • A sample of your blood will be taken for testing.
  • Patients taking antibiotics for infections usually cannot donate.

Planning ahead

  • Plan ahead carefully so you will be able to donate enough blood before your operation.
  • You will probably need to make more than 1 deposit.
  • It is common to wait a week between visits.
  • Your health care provider may prescribe a daily iron pill.