Understanding Blood Donation Before Surgery
If you are scheduled for elective (non-emergency) surgery, you may have concerns about the possibility of blood transfusion during surgery. The goal is to maintain the body’s normal levels of blood. You and your health care provider can plan ahead to achieve this goal. Read on about the types of blood donations and, if needed, ways to build up your blood.
Autologous Blood Transfusion
Allogeneic Blood Transfusion
If you are not able to donate for yourself, you may receive blood donated by a blood bank donor. This is called allogeneic blood donation. Blood bank blood is screened for disease and considered safe. And it is ready to use right away. Relatives and friends with your blood type can also donate blood for your use. They are called designated (or directed) donors. Time is still needed to screen this blood for disease.
If you have a medical condition such as anemia (low red blood cell count), you may not be able to donate your own blood. If you are scheduled for elective, noncardiac, nonvascular surgery, an option may include injections of a drug called epoetin alfa (erythropoietin). This drug helps increase the amount of red blood cells in the blood. It also reduces the need for allogeneic blood transfusion.
Important facts to know: