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Question about blood donation

BarbwireBBarbwire Posts: 18
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm preparing for fusion surgery. My neighbor has had similar surgery and told me her doctor had her donate blood in case he needed it during her surgery. My doctor never mentioned this. Is this something I should be doing before my surgery...donating my blood? Has anyone else heard of this?


  • My surgeon didn't mention it either. The chances of needing a transfusion are small with a one level fusion. My NS said less than a 5% chance. Some people do donate there blood ahead of time. I believe you have to start the process 2-4 weeks before surgery. Sometimes this is covered by insurance but not always. It is quite pricey if you have to pay it out of pocket. Some surgeons also use a cell-saver technique where they catch the blood you are loosing during the surgery and give it back to you. Call your surgeons office and inquire about self donation. I am sure they are used to dealing with it, as it is much more common in a multilevel fusion. Good-luck, >:D< Cali-Sue
  • My OS had me donate 2 pints of blood before surgery. I had to go the 2 weeks before surgery. He recommended it but said it was really up to me. He ended up using one during my fusion. All doctors are different but I dont see why they wouldnt say yes if you wanted to do it.

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  • My dr wanted me also to donate my own.But I refused because of my veins.
    And the insurance did not cover it. Some do but not all.
    I ended up not needing any in all 3 spine surgeries.

    I just signed a consent to have a blood transfusion if needed at pre op testing.
    Blood is so safe these days, there really is not much worry.

    Good luck O:)
  • Gosh, I learn more everyday. I better start with my insurance company regarding the donation. Just curious...does anyone know why they wouldn't cover it?

    ((Healing Hugs))
  • My surgeon had me donate a unit of blood for myself. He had me do it at the Red Cross, so there was no cost for the actual donation. However, the hospital did charge for sample tests and processing - $300, which was covered by insurance.

    In my case, for an L5/S1 fusion with facet bolts, I did not need the blood. Actually, I only lost about 25cc of blood during the surgery.

    Since the hospital would most likely have blood available in case a transfusion is necessary, there is no need for you to donate your own blood. On the other hand, it doesn't hurt since there would be no compatibility issues. Just so you know, they would test your blood to make sure there are no issues with it before a possible transfusion.

    Good luck with your surgery!
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  • My NS had me donate 2 units "just in case". I used 3 units before leaving the recovery room and 2 more before I was able to stand up after I returned to my room. I was so dizzy and kept passing out every time they tried to sit me up on the side of the bed. Apparently I had lost enough blood to lower my count quite a bit. I had a 3 level PLIF with hardware and quite a bit of other "cleaning up" done due to stenosis / spondylolisthesis.
  • ...said I could donate if I'd like too, but he felt it it was not necessary since there would be little blood loss and they were going to use a 'cell saver'. :/
  • I didn't donate my own blood because my Neurosurgeon said they give maybe one person a year a blood transfusion from spinal fusions. She does a handful of these surgeries a week, too.
  • 1 pint 2 weeks before my surgery and never ended up using it. Mine was covered by my insurance, so far. My OS said he's very rarely had to use it, but just in case, he would rather be prepared than not.

    Good luck!
  • I auto-donated 2 units 3 weeks apart thinking it was just a precaution and that I wouldn't really need it. I ended up needing every drop back. I was glad to have my own but would have been ok with donor blood too. It was just one more thing I could do to be proactive in the process. I also did mine through the Red Cross (great ladies let me tell you!) There were fees at the hospital for handling etc. but my insurance covered it.
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