Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

PLIF and Blood

pinknwhtrosesppinknwhtroses Posts: 14
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
On October 14, I am having a 2 level (L4-L5 and L5-S1) PLIF fusion, this thursday I am giving 2 units of my own blood for surgery, but I just found out that its not covered under my health insurance, so now I dont know what to do. Has anyone donated their own blood before? Any idea how much its going to cost me? I am going to call the blood bank tomorrow. Thank you in advance, Nikki


  • I would call your surgeon's office and discuss it with them...and be sure to mention that it is a matter of insurance not covering the cost.

    Many doctors do not require this step as they use a machine that captures whatever blood is lost during surgery, cleanse it and recycle it back into the patient, if needed.

    Hopefully someone else will chime in who has donated blood and who can answer your questions.

    One more thing to worry about, right?? @)
  • I used to work at a blood center and it isn't unusual for a surgeon to order autologous blood if it's required for a surgery. The machine Gwennie referred to is called a 'cell saver' (works on the same principle as an apheresis machine that is used to collect plasma, platelets, leukocytes from a single donor). You also have the option of directed donations, this would be family member or friends with a compatible blood type to yours that donate units that are reserved for your exclusive use. Since your surgeon feels that you may have excessive blood loss, IMHO, you should have them lobby on your behalf with the insurance company, many times the MD's office knows the 'right' verbage and gets the approval for the coverage of the donations. The blood bank will give you the cost of the donations, where I worked, cost per unit donated ran about $400.00. Also, the hospital blood bank tack on their costs for storing it, doing type/cross/match on the unit(s), premedicating if needed (tylenol/benadryl to avoid transfusion reactions - it can happen even if it's your own blood) and the supplies to adminster the transfusion. Overall, expensive, but if it's needed, how can you argue? Hope this helps, please let us know how it works out.
  • I have decided after talking to the blood bank, the insurance company, and my doctors that I am not going to do the autologous, I just can't afford it and the dr said that it is highly unlikely that I will need it. I am going to keep thinking positively and pray that I will be fine. Thank you for all the info everyone. Nikki
  • I wondered the same thing before my two level PLIF. I didnt donate blood or anything, as my surgeon said the blood is safe and doubtful I would need any. And I didnt. Good Luck and just focus on getting ready and recovery. You will be fine. Hugsss >:D< Love Robin
  • I asked about donating my own blood before my fusion, things just got hectic and there was lot of paperwork and I ended up deciding it wasn't worth the hassle.

    Luckily/unluckily - I ended up needed 2 units of blood. Unlucky that I needed it, Lucky that everything ended up being okay and I had no problems with the donor blood.

    I wasn't able to donate at any blood drives for 6 months afterwards, but I'll tell ya now - I am one that will be donating from now on!

    Gotta love and appreciate those that donate for those that find they are in need.

  • Just before my three-level posterior fusion I asked my OS about blood, and he told me that it is very unlikely that I would need it. He was right, I did not need it as there was only a minimal blood loss during surgery. But I find it strange that many insurance companies - including mine, Blue Cross of CA, HMO - pays for transfusion from the blood bank but not for if you donate for yourself. It just does not make sense to me.


  • It dosen't make sense, but, because of the additional handling required, the fees are higher for autologous or directed donations. The good news on donor blood is that undergoes approximately 8 different tests to ensure that it's safe to transfuse (takes 3 days for a unit of whole blood to get through the system). I was a committed blood donor before my surgery as I've had too many near & dear to me in need of transfusions as part of their cancer treatments, hopefully, I'll get an OK from my MD at the 6 month mark to start again.
Sign In or Register to comment.