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Process for blood transfusions? 1993 vs 2009

SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone:

When I had my fusion in 1993 I did a pre-op autologous blood donation (where I gave my own blood and it was kept for use during my surgery - if it was needed). I can't recall if they actually used it nor not. What I do remember is that surgery scheduling was dependent on getting the autologous donation done and giving the body a month to build the blood supply back up.

Fast forward to 2009 and I'm anticipating a 360 fusion L3-S1 later this year. Have any of you done an autologous donation for fusion surgery? I wanted to see if this practice had gone away. I know cell saver machines are now used (and were in '93 also so that might be all I used) and maybe that's enough in most cases?
2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 


  • I think it must depend on the surgeon. I know a few people on the board have donated blood prior to surgery, but I think they are in the minority. My doc said the cell saver machine would handle things...and the second surgery I had, he called a "bloodless" surgery.
  • My doctor didn't require it. He used the cell saver and I received donor blood.
  • My doctor brought it up and then said as close as your surgery is being scheduled we won't have enough time for you to recover. We will use a machine and recollect any blood you lose. So I guess they still do it if your surgery is scheduled far enough away. In my case surgery was scheduled in 5 days. I was in pretty bad shape and wanted to do it asap.
  • I didn't donate my own blood, I decided to take a chance that I wouldn't need it and I didn't, but came very close. I was anemic when I left the hospital and had to take iron pills for 6wks. I hope you will be ok, and good luck!
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