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 doctor about whether you should donate your own blood for surgery.

Healthcare provider preparing to take blood from woman's arm.Deciding What’s Right for You

  • There is less risk of a reaction to your own blood; you can’t give yourself infections you don’t have.

  • Usually recommended for patients planning elective surgery in which 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 that would keep you from self-donating are anemia, 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 carefully in advance so you will be able to donate enough blood before your operation.

  • You will probably need to make more than one deposit.

  • Waiting a week between visits is common.

  • Your doctor may prescribe a daily iron pill.