Procedures and Testing
Autologous Blood Transfusions
Autologous blood transfusion is the collection and re-infusion of the patient’s own blood or blood components, during an elective surgical or medical procedure. Although blood from volunteer donors is tested to reduce risks and is safer than ever, autologous blood is the safest blood available for transfusion because it eliminates the risk of acquiring infectious diseases that may be transmitted by other donors.
To donate autologous blood, you must contact your physician, who will determine whether your medical condition will allow you to safely donate blood for yourself. If you meet the criteria you will be given a doctor’s order.
Autologous blood donations must be made at least 7 days before surgery. If you are donating more than one unit, the donations must be scheduled at least 4 days apart with the last donation at least 7 days before surgery. It is important to take iron supplements as prescribed by your surgeon.
At the time of your donation, your blood is specially labeled with tags and bar coded labels. It is tracked through the processing and storage to ensure you and only you will get your unit.
Directed Blood Donations
In some cases, patients request blood transfusions from donors designated by them, such as a family member or friend. Although there is no scientific evidence that designated blood is safer than blood from other volunteer donors, Mercy Medical Center agrees to supply directed donor blood subject to certain criteria.
Directed donors must meet the same eligibility criteria as other volunteer donors, and their blood will be subjected to all the same infectious disease testing.
There are times when the use of blood from close relatives is not advised, especially if the patient is facing a future bone marrow transplant. Husband-to-wife donations are not advisable during childbearing years because of the risk of immunization.
Directed donors must be drawn by Long Island Blood Services. For more information or to make an appointment call, please call (516) 62-MERCY.
Volunteer Blood Donations
Voluntary donors provide the blood necessary to meet the needs of patients. For the safety of the patients, donors are questioned about their medical history and are given a mini-physical examination to help determine whether they are suitable donors. In addition all blood donated is tested for infectious diseases, such as hepatitis and HIV.
Anyone who is between the ages of 17-75, weighs 110 pounds or more, and is in good health may be a donor.
If you have specific questions regarding donation, or to make an appointment, please call (516) 62-MERCY.
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