CHANCES ARE ONE IN FOUR THAT SOME TIME IN OUR LIVES WE WILL HAVE A NEED FOR A BLOOD
TRANSFUSION. HERE ARE THE NEEDED TYPES.
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Your Own Blood || Others' Blood || Other Options
In most countries, when considering a Blood
transfusion, you have several options. These options may be limited by time, by
health factors, and/or by money. In the money department, you will need to check with
your insurance company regarding reimbursement policies related to Blood transfusion.
Some surgeries do not require Blood
transfusion. Although you have the right to refuse a Blood transfusion, this decision
may hold life-threatening consequences.
As you have questions about your options
relating to Blood transfusion, ask your physician, a good source in quality information.
Another resource is often the internet. Do not ever take your internet research as gospel
truth. Although you may see some wildly ridiculous articles, the internet can help you
develop an even more informed series of questions to ask of the people in whom you well
may place your life.
As a reminder of just why it is important to
know about Blood transfusion when you go to the Blood center to either give Blood, or to
receive a Blood transfusion, we quote here from an American Red Cross document as to the
training required to be a Blood collection 'technician.'
"..... formal classroom
instruction for 1 week, followed by one-on-one training for approximately 2 weeks, and
then one month of preceptorship [on the job training] with a staff nurse..... " - ARCNOCAL
Now that sounds like a training program that
would produce someone in whom I could really entrust my life! This is why we feel that
BloodBook.com will be as valuable to you as the research over the years has been to us.
USING YOUR OWN
BLOOD - Using your own Blood can minimize or eliminate the need for transfusion
with donor Blood. This technique will reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of
transfusion-related infections and allergic reactions. Mistakes are made.
Blood Donation - Autologous Blood donation is not the best option for
everyone. You should consult your physician as to whether it is safe or appropriate
for you to donate. Autologous Blood collection may not be available at the hospital in
which your procedure or surgery will be performed. Consult with your doctor, and talk
with all of the local Blood Centers about the availability of Blood, the various
autologous procedure options, and whether or not autologous donation may be appropriate
Blood Before Surgery - Blood banks can draw your Blood and store it for your
use. This process usually is used for planned surgery. Blood can be stored for
only a limited period of time, so coordinating the donations with the date of surgery is
very important. As an alternative procedure, there is hemodilution, a procedure where the
patient's Blood is collected prior to surgery and replaced with a 'plasma expander.' The
theory is that any bleeding during surgery will lose fewer RBC's. The previously
collected, higher hematocrit Blood, can be reinfused following surgery.
Blood During Surgery - Your surgeon may be able to recycle your Blood during
surgery. Blood that normally is lost and discarded during surgery can be collected,
processed and returned to you. This process is performed by devices such as the 'Cell
Saver,' or by other Blood conservation technique. This devices are used to collect your
own Blood during surgery, cleanse it, and return it with a saline dilutant to your system.
Also available during the surgical procedures, is 'wound drainage.' In this process, Blood
is collected from cavities (such as a joint space into which bleeding has occurred) and
returned through a filter, which removes big items, but does not remove inflammatory
chemical mediators or cytokines. These techniques require a hyper-clean operating
A large volume of your Blood can be recycled this way. Either of these methods can
minimize or even eliminate the need to accept the unknown Blood from a stranger.
Blood After Surgery - Blood that has been lost during surgery and collected but
not used, can be filtered and returned to you. This process may minimize or eliminate the
need to be transfused with someone else's Blood that is often needed after surgery.
USING BLOOD DONATED BY OTHERS - If you choose not to donate your own Blood, or if more
Blood is required than you have set aside for your own use, if prepared, you could receive
Blood from community or designated donors, or from a pre-planned community Blood 'pool,'
called a 'walking around Blood bank.'
Blood Donors - Hospitals maintain a supply of community donor Blood to meet
transfusion needs. Volunteer community Blood donors are 'screened' by a
'thorough' medical history, and then 'tested.' This alternative is not extraordinarily
superior to common Blood bank transfusion.
Blood Donors - Although the Blood supply today is 'safe', some patients prefer to
receive Blood from people they know, or, 'designated donors.' In some cases, this may
be less safe because donors known to the patient in need may not reveal embarrassing
information about their personal history, assuming the Blood tests will detect any
infection. Common Blood tests do not always detect important, and possibly fatal,
Blood borne diseases. Blood donated by a friend whose recent behavior puts them at risk of
HIV or other Blood diseases or viruses could pass the screening measures, and transmit a
virus or a disease to a friend/patient. Designated donors must meet the same requirements
as community donors. Advance notice is always required to accommodate a request for
designated donors, as additional processing may be required. This request of a
friend may cause them a lot of trouble in many ways and should not be made without a full
discussion of all aspects of the donation and receipt of the Blood, including costs.
AROUND BLOOD BANK - A third solution is one often favored by groups of
expatriates living near each other. The members of the 'community' set up and maintain
contact with a group of people who are prepared to be called upon to donate Blood to meet
a particular emergency. The theory is that members of the group know each other and know
their lifestyles, and therefore the potential donor, when they are appropriately tested,
would be superior to unknown strangers. Some problems associated with such a venture
|There are some good reasons for
a husband to not donate Blood to his wife during her childbearing years.
During this time, a women who plans to become pregnant, receiving Blood from her husband
may pose a small risk to the infants born of these pregnancies. If, after the Blood
transfusion the woman develops an antibody to an antigen on the father's red Blood cells,
and the subsequently born fetus inherits the father's red cell antigen, the antibody from
the mother may enter the Bloodstream of the fetus causing destruction of fetal red Blood
cells. This may cause serious anemia in the fetus and excessive jaundice in the infant
after birth. This is a known major cause of brain damage. Special Blood transfusions,
using selected red Blood cells that do not have the particular in-compatible and offending
antigen, are available when this condition is pre-diagnosed. Of course, we suggest
autologous Blood donation for the mother. However, for those mothers who are unable to
make an autologous donation, the decision to select her husband as a donor should always
take this risk under consideration, and specific consultation with your pediatrician on
this subject is essential.
If you have
additional questions about your options relating to Blood transfusion, please look further
through this web site, and then refer your questions to a physician, local Blood center,
or hospital Blood bank. Doctors who work in Blood banking facilities are experts and
are helpful in answering informed questions.
View Directed Blood Donation
Consent Form HERE.
View Directed Blood Donation
Order Form HERE.
Thank you for