We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Autologous Blood Donation?

By Jacquelyn Gilchrist
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
TheHealthBoard is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At TheHealthBoard, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Blood donation occurs when a person donates his own blood, either for another, specific person or to a general blood bank. In contrast, in an autologous blood donation, the person who donates blood will also receive it, often at a later date. This may be done prior to a surgery, if there is a possibility that the patient could need a blood transfusion.

Patients who choose to have an autologous blood donation may eliminate potential errors in the regulation of donated blood. For instance, there is no possibility that the blood type will not match, which allows the patient to avoid a fatal transfusion reaction. The use of the patient's own blood also nearly eliminates any risk of transmitting unknown diseases, infections, or other impurities.

While the advantages tend to outweigh the disadvantages, there are potential drawbacks to an autologous blood donation. Due to human error, the patient's own blood may be mislabeled, which can result in the patient receiving blood from a general blood bank instead. It is also possible for the blood to be contaminated during the process of blood donation. Often, not all the blood may be required during the surgery. Typically, such unused blood is discarded, however, sometimes it may be used for another patient.

There are three types of autologous blood donations. An intra-operative salvage occurs when the surgeon uses a device called a cell saver during the operation. The cell saver collects blood that is lost during the surgery, in order for the patient to receive it later. A postoperative cell salvage collects lost blood immediately after the procedure.

The third type of procedure is the most common. Known as a preoperative autologous blood donation (PABD), it allows the patient to begin donating blood about six weeks prior to his surgery. This type of blood collection must stop three days prior to the surgery, however.

Patients must usually go to a blood bank for a preoperative autologous blood donation, rather than the hospital. Vital signs will be taken — such as the patient's temperature, pulse, and blood pressure — to ensure that the patient is healthy enough for blood donation. The patient will also need to provide his complete medical history, as well as undergo a fingerstick blood test to check for anemia. Since the patient will be receiving his own blood, having medications in the bloodstream is not usually a factor in autologous blood donation eligibility. If deemed necessary, the patient may be prescribed iron pills to help boost the red blood cell count prior to surgery.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.