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Lorz
04-05-2011, 06:12 PM
I got the letter from my surgeon's office, saying it is time to set up my blood donations. I am supposed to donate 3 units, starting 34 days prior to surgery. I am having a difficult time finding a center that does this, close to where I live in PA. Also, I have been quoted fees from $148 per unit, to $500 per unit, for them to draw, process, and ship the blood. I am wondering, do most surgeons ask their pts. to do this? And, for those of you who did, how did you feel afterwards. Normally, a person can donate only once every 56 days, but we are to donate 3 times in 34 days. I realize, we will be getting the blood back again, but doesn't it make you feel more fatigued, going in to sugery? Those of you in eastern PA, western NJ, where did you go to donate? And, for those who received donor blood, any problems with insurance paying for it? Sorry for all the questions, I am feeling rather perplexed!!

backissues
04-05-2011, 06:43 PM
My surgeon suggested that donating my own blood would weaken me for surgery. I had 4 pints of blood from the blood bank during surgery and one pint after surgery of frozen plasma (I think that's what the fifth pint was.) My insurance took care of paying for the blood.
Luckily, I had no problem with the donated blood.

Snoopy
04-05-2011, 07:15 PM
I'm not sure exactly where you are located, but I took my daughter to Hershey Medical Center in Hershey PA for her blood donations which is where her surgery was done. Not sure if they will do what you need them to do, but I would think since it is one of the bigger hospitals in the area, they might be able to help or at least recommend a facility that can help.

Have you contacted the blood donor center nearest you? They might also be able to recommend a facility to you if they don't do it themselves.

Mary Lou

LindaRacine
04-05-2011, 07:21 PM
Hi...

I work at UCSF where dozens of scoliosis surgeries are done every week. Our surgeons have stopped asking for autologous blood donations.

By the way, I'm guessing that the "every 56 days" thing is probably for donation of blood in the general population. For my first surgeries, 19 years ago, I donated 7 units over 7 weeks.

Regards,
Linda

Singer
04-05-2011, 07:36 PM
Lori, I donated one pint at a Red Cross center in West Chester (right off Rte. 202). I felt really wiped out afterward and told Lindy I wouldn't be donating any more. As it turns out, I didn't need additional blood anyway, but if I had needed more, I would have been perfectly fine with donor blood. It's very safe these days. I can't quite remember the insurance end of things with this -- I have to check my records.

golfnut
04-05-2011, 07:45 PM
Dr. Lenke did not want me to donate my own blood and he also felt the blood bank was safe. I intend to donate blood when I'm a year post-op because I'm very grateful to have blood from the blood bank.

leahdragonfly
04-05-2011, 08:27 PM
Hi Golfnut,

I love hearing of your generous expression of gratitude! I wonder if there are restrictions on donating blood in someone who has had prior transfusions? I think there used to be, but I am not sure now.

My surgeon also does not allow his patients to pre-donate blood. He feels it weakens them and potentially increases the risk of infection. I had an 8-hour surgery and received 4 units of blood-bank blood during surgery. I needed two more units a few days later as I was quite anemic (Hgb 7), so I had a total of 6 units.

My surgeon feels that the blood bank blood is very safe. I was not sorry that I couldn't donate my own blood.

Lilysaidwhat
04-05-2011, 08:51 PM
I pre-donated 2 pints at the apheresis center at the hospital where my surgery was done. I lost 6 during the surgery and ended up getting my 2 back during, then another 3 from donors.

I donated both pints in 6 days and felt slightly weak but not badly.

Susie*Bee
04-05-2011, 09:10 PM
I donated 4 pints in a little over 3 weeks. It didn't really make me feel weak. The tricky part was trying to keep my hematocrit high enough so I could keep donating. I did use all 4 units, plus all the cell saver blood from the surgery. I donated through the red cross blood donation center, which was about an hour's drive away for me. There was no charge. They had it delivered to the hospital, another hour or so away.

Lorz
04-06-2011, 08:31 AM
Thank you everyone, for all of your replies.
Susie Bee- it is interesting that you did not have to pay a fee. It was the American Red Cross center closest to me (1 1/2 hrs away) that quoted the $500 fee!
I only donated blood once, and felt so horrible after, I have avoided it since. It sounds like it is not a requirement to do so, so I think I will have my husband donate for me, and leave it at that. I am not concerned about the safety of donor blood. I was just hoping to avoid any possibility of autoimmune responses to weird antibodies some people have. Its good to know none of you had any problems!!
Linda- 7 units in 7 weeks?! Wow, you are tough!

Susie*Bee
04-06-2011, 06:10 PM
Lori-- that is totally weird that they would charge you, and there was no charge for me. I don't get it at all. Why would there be a charge??? And $500 seems ridiculously high. My American Red Cross location was in Merrillville, IN and then the blood was sent to Chicago, IL, where my surgery was. Merrillville is almost to the IL line...

jeneemohler
04-06-2011, 06:47 PM
I say just do what you want. The doctors are split on this one, too. No one will judge you if you decide one way or another. I almost didn't do it, either. Go with your gut. In the overall picture, this is a small thing, so don't sweat the little stuff!

I donated one unit, and felt fine. I took plenty of iron before and after, and had no problems with my hematocrit. I was a little nervous about doing it, and being tired, but they told me how fast our bodies replace it. The fluid is replaced in several hours, the actual blood was just days, but I can't remember how many.... But it was amazing. I was nervous about doing it, and also nervous about NOT doing it. With some of the things not showing up in blood for some time after exposure, who knows?? But that was my fertile/analytical imagination gone wild....
I also had it done at Red Cross. They told me it was going to be $500 before I went in. They didn't charge me at the donation site, nor directly, but it shows up on my hospital bill at 500 bucks. Maybe they process it, then charge the hospital it goes to, then pass it on to you?? I'm not sure. I was on the cell saver unit, and only used my one unit, no other blood. So the charge isn't for blood bank blood. And it was for the quoted $500...

Good Luck!

peachrush7
04-06-2011, 10:03 PM
My doctor asked me if I wanted to, but I decided not to do it. He said he thinks for most people it ends up being a wash because you go in low, and end up needing more than you donated. Since I went in full, I only needed 2 pints a day after the surgery.

But he would have had me do it if I wanted to, so I think it's entirely up to us these days to decide for ourselves.

Best wishes!

TiffanyK
04-06-2011, 10:14 PM
Is it common to receive blood from this surgery? It seems like everyone has received some, but I never did. My surgeon said I lost a liter of blood... and from the help of a conversion chart it came out to a little over 2 pints. No where in the surgery report does it mention that I received any blood.

Lorz
04-07-2011, 09:58 AM
Susie- I think the cost differs from region to region. I was told it was $450 for processing the blood, and $50 for shipping.

Tiffany- I just asked Dr. Boachie what the average blood loss with this type of sugery is, and he said 500-1500cc. Some people can tolerate a loss of 1000cc, and not need blood. You were one of the lucky ones!

debbei
04-08-2011, 08:29 AM
I donated one pint a week prior to surgery, at the hospital where I had my surgery. My husband and son also each donated a pint for me as we're all the same type. I did feel weak for a day or so afterwards, but then of course, it was just one pint.

loves to skate
04-08-2011, 11:12 AM
Hi Golfnut,

I love hearing of your generous expression of gratitude! I wonder if there are restrictions on donating blood in someone who has had prior transfusions? I think there used to be, but I am not sure now.


Gayle, The restriction for donating is one year from the time you received the transfusions, because if you were to get a blood borne disease, it would show up within that first year.

loves to skate
04-08-2011, 11:18 AM
As a retired Blood Banker, I personally wouldn't recommend donating more than one (or maybe two units for very hearty women)of your one blood, because it weakens your immune system. Many times, I have seen women come in for surgery that have donated and need to be transfused before the Doctor will even operate on them because their red blood counts are too low to safely operate.
Blood Bank blood is extremely safe now.
Sally

lisanicole
04-20-2011, 05:47 PM
I have been quoted fees from $148 per unit, to $500 per unit, for them to draw, process, and ship the blood

Thank heavens for Canadian healthcare. I donated through the Autologous Blood program here in Edmonton, AB a pint every week for a month before surgery. I used it all during my surgery... and it was free. I had a pretty intense diet of steak & spinach to keep my hemoglobin count up. I hate needles but used EMLA cream (over the counter numbing agent) so I couldn't feel the needles. The very first pint took me 12 minutes to fill, but by the end of the program I was a champ pumping out a pint in 4 minutes. I was very happy with the program and felt confident using my own blood. I didn't have any problems with sickness or weakness before, during or after my surgery. Obviously it's very different for each person, so you just have to make the best choice for you.

Good luck with your decision and your surgery! Sending you prayers & fast-healing vibes!

djkinkead
04-20-2011, 10:06 PM
When I went to see Dr. Good, he mentioned me donating blood for my surgery. I am concerned by people mentioning how it can weaken your immune system. I am not a large person...probably could get a way with donating one unit about a month before.

Something to ponder. Need to find out what blood type my husband is....he is willing to donate blood.

I bet my dogs would be willing, but would probably end up with a longer nose and pointed ears. :-)

Lorz
04-28-2011, 04:04 PM
[QUOTE=djkinkead;120637]When I went to see Dr. Good, he mentioned me donating blood for my surgery. I am concerned by people mentioning how it can weaken your immune system. I am not a large person...probably could get a way with donating one unit about a month before.
djkinkead-
After much contemplation, I decided to not donate, and just use donor blood. My husband was going to donate, but studies have shown that directed donor blood is not any any safer than regular donor blood, and our insurance pays for donor, but not autologous donation! Crazy healthcare system.
lisanicole- thank you for the well wishes!

mgs
04-28-2011, 04:17 PM
My husband, super cautious man that he is, wanted me to donate for myself.
The lady across the street, who is the head of the med tech dept of our local hosp, said that she wouldn't do it, that they are vigilant about the safety controls, and all I'd do is weaken myself pre surgery, and that the popularity of autologous donation has taken a real nosedive in these last years. Much to my husband's chagrin, I decided to not do the autologus blood donation. I'm glad I skipped it. I did need transfusing post-op, and all went well.

littlebird
04-28-2011, 07:06 PM
Thank you everyone, for all of your replies.
Susie Bee- it is interesting that you did not have to pay a fee. It was the American Red Cross center closest to me (1 1/2 hrs away) that quoted the $500 fee!
I only donated blood once, and felt so horrible after, I have avoided it since. It sounds like it is not a requirement to do so, so I think I will have my husband donate for me, and leave it at that. I am not concerned about the safety of donor blood. I was just hoping to avoid any possibility of autoimmune responses to weird antibodies some people have. Its good to know none of you had any problems!!
Linda- 7 units in 7 weeks?! Wow, you are tough!

I was told by Dr. Lenke nurse that some Red Cross groups would try and charge me. She said not to pay, as they are not suppose to do that. Complain to the national office.

Debra JGL
05-04-2011, 12:15 PM
Hi Laurie, I donated one pint of blood. I just about passed out and didn't donate anymore. It took me a day to feel better. I donated through the American Red Cross in Bryn Mawr. It cost me 50. Which I was thrilled because I had checked a couple of other places and it was going to cost ALOT more. I asked Dr. B if he thought I needed to donate more and he said no. I ended up not needing the blood during the operation, though they did give it back to me sometime after in the hospital basically because they had it (as I understood it). Due to all the safety precautions now and Lindy telling me there have been no negative incidences of donor donations, I was very comfortable if I needed additional blood. Good luck with all your preparations!

Jacque's Mom
05-04-2011, 12:53 PM
I donated two of the three pints they asked, and I suggest you don't donate. I was exhausted and by the time I went for the third donation, my hemoglobin was way too low. I emailed from Dr. Boachie's office and said I can't do the last one and opted for the blood bank, which I think I received one unit from them. The amount of vitamens, etc. I had to take for 30 days before the surgery for the blood donation was overwhelming and upset my stomach. That's one less stressful thing you have to do/think about prior to your surgery. PLUS I paid $149.00 each time I went to NY Blood Bank, and I haven't received anything from insurance. I don't think it's covered.

Lorz
05-05-2011, 09:58 AM
Thanks for your input. I hope you are both doing well. The decision process was causing so much added stress for me, that I just decided to not donate. I e-mailed Dr. B., and he was fine with it. I want to be as strong as possible, going in to surgery. Two weeks until my day of pre-op testing, then 2 1/2 weeks till the big day. Very surreal. It is because of all of you, that have gone before me, and shared your experiences, that I have the strength to do it. Thanks isn't enough.

boomergal
05-05-2011, 12:18 PM
I'm been wondering what to do about the autologous blood donation, too. I'm scheduled to donate two units total (at the NY Blood Center, three weeks and two weeks before surgery). When I was younger I'd faint at the drop of a hat so it might not be the best experience. I'm also concerned about getting weak pre-surgery. On the other hand, I've been eating a lot of beef, which is a real treat for me since I usually don't eat it (daughter is vegetarian and husband is semi-vegetarian).

boomergal
54 years old
T57, L43
surgery scheduled with Dr. Boachie 7/05/11

Doodles
05-05-2011, 02:29 PM
I didn't give blood since I'd had a bad experience donating once a few years ago. I tried to have blood donated by friends and family in my stead. After many, many phone calls and lots of aggravation I gave up. I had donated blood and I needed a lot--9 units total I think. And it was fine! I can't see weakening yourself when you need to be at the top of your game. Janet

JenniferG
05-05-2011, 04:46 PM
My surgeon doesn't ask his patients to donate either. He told me blood bank blood is perfectly safe these days. I received 5 units during surgery and one the following day. I am so grateful. I have many times attempted to donate blood but I am so squeamish, I still haven't. I hope to one day. Once I've done it once, I think I'll be ok to become a regular donor. Either that or they'll pick me up off the floor and ask me not to come back.