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Save Your Own Life With Autologous Blood Donation

By Edited Mar 12, 2016 0 0

give blood

Autologous blood transfusion is the safest kind, and eliminates the risk of contracting blood-born illnesses that may have escaped detection when donated blood was tested. Are you having surgery soon? Autologous blood donation provides the safest possible blood for you to have available, in the event you need a blood transfusion.

This article will explain the basics of autologous blood transfusion. Even if you are not having surgery soon, it is still good to learn about this now, so you can be prepared later.

Autologous means "from the same organism" and autologous blood donation means that you donate your own blood in advance, to have available for yourself. Since many surgical procedures are scheduled days or weeks in advance, there is usually plenty of time to prepare. However, there are several points to keep in mind.

QUALIFIED DONORS

Rules and guidelines can vary, depending on which facility is handling your blood. Some areas require you to be 18 years old, but others will let children as young as seven donate their own blood in advance. No matter your age, you'll need to be in reasonably good health and not be anemic (low iron levels in your blood). To avoid low iron levels, eat plenty of iron-rich foods, especially for the week or two before your donation. Some iron-rich foods are turkey, liver, dried beans and peas, and spinach, kale, collards, and other dark leafy green vegetables.

ADVANCE PLANNING

The amount of blood you should prepare in advance will depend on the type of surgery or your possible needs. Since you can only give blood safely within certain parameters for both frequency of donation, and amount of blood, it is important to plan ahead carefully. Consult with your doctor, and your blood bank facility, to determine the best schedule to get things ready. Be sure to start early, so there's plenty of time. It is much better to have a little extra available than not quite enough.

SAFETY OF THE BLOOD SUPPLY

Your physician will probably assure you that blood used during transfusions is carefully tested and deemed safe. However, remember that no test is 100% accurate, and there may be diseases or other germs in blood for which no test has been created yet. The safest blood for you is your own blood.

COMPLICATIONS OF REJECTION

When you receive your own blood as a transfusion, your chance of rejection or complications related to the blood, itself, are virtually non-existent. There are several main types of blood, and over 100 subtypes. It is nearly impossible to ensure a perfect match.

COST

Oddly, autologous blood donation and transfusion is often not covered by insurance, even though it can potentially save the insurer a lot of money by preventing medical complications related to problems with blood transfusion. Check with your insurer in advance, to find out their policies about autologous blood donation and transfusion, in case a conversation directly with your physician is needed to help them become willing to pay for the procedure. If they will not, then you will need to pay these costs yourself, which can sometimes be quite high. Check with your facility carefully in advance, to be sure you understand the exact details of what is covered by which fees.

PHYSICAL RISKS

Autologous blood donation has the same risks as any kind of blood or plasma donation procedure, including nausea, feeling dizzy, fainting, bruising at the needle site, feeling hungry, or tired. For any type of blood donation, remember to eat iron-rich foods every day for at least a week before you donate, drink plenty of fluids so you are hydrated, and eat a full meal about an hour or two before your appointment. Plan to allow time for a few extra minutes after the donation, to be sure you don't have a bad reaction, and are feeling well and healthy, before you continue with your day.

OTHER RISKS

Accurate record-keeping is a must! Watch carefully to be certain your blood is clearly labeled with your name and other identifying information, and that you, yourself, also have a record of the information placed on the storage container. Be sure you know where your blood is stored (in what facility) and how to contact them when you need to use your blood. Precisely record any date, time, number, name, or any other information. Write neatly, so you (or the doctor or anyone) will be able to read the information again, possibly several weeks later, when the blood is needed.

SUMMARY

Autologous blood donation is still a relatively unfamiliar procedure to many people, but it is on the rise, as more people become aware of reasonable concerns about the safety of the blood supply. Just like cow's milk is best for baby cows, and human milk is best for baby humans, your own blood is safest for you.

Autologous blood transfusion is the safest kind, and eliminates the risk of contracting blood-born illnesses that may have escaped detection when donated blood was tested. Are you having surgery soon? Autologous blood donation provides the safest possible blood for you to have available, in the event you need a blood transfusion.

This article will explain the basics of autologous blood transfusion. Even if you are not having surgery soon, it is still good to learn about this now, so you can be prepared later.

Autologous means "from the same organism" and autologous blood donation means that you donate your own blood in advance, to have available for yourself. Since many surgical procedures are scheduled days or weeks in advance, there is usually plenty of time to prepare. However, there are several points to keep in mind.

QUALIFIED DONORS

Rules and guidelines can vary, depending on which facility is handling your blood. Some areas require you to be 18 years old, but others will let children as young as seven donate their own blood in advance. No matter your age, you'll need to be in reasonably good health and not be anemic (low iron levels in your blood). To avoid low iron levels, eat plenty of iron-rich foods, especially for the week or two before your donation. Some iron-rich foods are turkey, liver, dried beans and peas, and spinach, kale, collards, and other dark leafy green vegetables.

ADVANCE PLANNING

The amount of blood you should prepare in advance will depend on the type of surgery or your possible needs. Since you can only give blood safely within certain parameters for both frequency of donation, and amount of blood, it is important to plan ahead carefully. Consult with your doctor, and your blood bank facility, to determine the best schedule to get things ready. Be sure to start early, so there's plenty of time. It is much better to have a little extra available than not quite enough.

SAFETY OF THE BLOOD SUPPLY

Your physician will probably assure you that blood used during transfusions is carefully tested and deemed safe. However, remember that no test is 100% accurate, and there may be diseases or other germs in blood for which no test has been created yet. The safest blood for you is your own blood.

COMPLICATIONS OF REJECTION

When you receive your own blood as a transfusion, your chance of rejection or complications related to the blood, itself, are virtually non-existent. There are several main types of blood, and over 100 subtypes. It is nearly impossible to ensure a perfect match.

COST

Oddly, autologous blood donation and transfusion is often not covered by insurance, even though it can potentially save the insurer a lot of money by preventing medical complications related to problems with blood transfusion. Check with your insurer in advance, to find out their policies about autologous blood donation and transfusion, in case a conversation directly with your physician is needed to help them become willing to pay for the procedure. If they will not, then you will need to pay these costs yourself, which can sometimes be quite high. Check with your facility carefully in advance, to be sure you understand the exact details of what is covered by which fees.

PHYSICAL RISKS

Autologous blood donation has the same risks as any kind of blood or plasma donation procedure, including nausea, feeling dizzy, fainting, bruising at the needle site, feeling hungry, or tired. For any type of blood donation, remember to eat iron-rich foods every day for at least a week before you donate, drink plenty of fluids so you are hydrated, and eat a full meal about an hour or two before your appointment. Plan to allow time for a few extra minutes after the donation, to be sure you don't have a bad reaction, and are feeling well and healthy, before you continue with your day.

OTHER RISKS

Accurate record-keeping is a must! Watch carefully to be certain your blood is clearly labeled with your name and other identifying information, and that you, yourself, also have a record of the information placed on the storage container. Be sure you know where your blood is stored (in what facility) and how to contact them when you need to use your blood. Precisely record any date, time, number, name, or any other information. Write neatly, so you (or the doctor or anyone) will be able to read the information again, possibly several weeks later, when the blood is needed.

SUMMARY

Autologous blood donation is still a relatively unfamiliar procedure to many people, but it is on the rise, as more people become aware of reasonable concerns about the safety of the blood supply. Just like cow's milk is best for baby cows, and human milk is best for baby humans, your own blood is safest for you.

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