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loris
09-30-2009, 11:39 AM
I am now six weeks out from having my surgery. My doctor receommended me donating some blood to myself in advance. Right now he is very difficult to get in touch with. He has a family illness out of state that he keeps having to go take care of. He assures me he will be back in time for the surgery, but I do not know when I should start the process of donating the blood. Did anyone else have to do this and if so when did you start?
Lori

kt2009
09-30-2009, 11:59 AM
This is very common and is called "Autologous Donation." My doctor gave me a pamphlet, but if you call the hospital where you will have your surgery, I'd imagine that they have bood donation services. They can give you the information you need. I gave two units (ask your doctor) and it needed to be used within 42 days. It can be drawn between 5-7 days apart. If your doctor hasn't restricted vitamins...take some iron. I was told NOT to take vitamins within a month of my surgery, so I ate some iron rich food before I donated. The hospital then holds on to your donation at their blood bank until your surgery. So check with your local hospital on their procedure. Good luck!

lumbar3491
09-30-2009, 12:01 PM
Hi Lori

I donated one unit of blood for my own transfusion five weeks ahead of my 8/24/09 surgery. My partner, a universal donor, also gave a donation for me. I got a notice from the American Red Cross that we should make our donations in their facility. Although my surgeon initiated these donations at the Red Cross, you may want to contact your local chapter directly and inquire how to make a donation for yourself. That would give you some measure of control over the process while your surgeon is away.

Hope that helps.

Karen

sarah105
09-30-2009, 05:15 PM
I had my surgery done at Yale and donated blood before hand. My Dr. said I could do one or two units, it ws up to me. He put us in touch with the blood bank at Yale to set up the appointments. Be careful because the blood bank scheduled two appointments for me, one 2.5 weeks before my surgery and the second was scheduled for the Thursday before my Monday surgery. They insisted that I could give my blood up to 3 days before my surgery. Forunately, we questioned this and asked the Dr. He said absolutely not! He suggested not less than two weeks before the surgery for my final donation. I ended up just giving one unit.

I would really try to get in touch with your doctor to at least find out when he suggests doing it. Do not take the word of the blood bank people. Maybe three days is enough for some surgeries but not this one!

loves to skate
09-30-2009, 06:05 PM
As a retired Medical Technologist, we used to draw many autologous blood donors and observed that the people who donated the most blood quite often had to be transfused prior to going into surgery, especially the women. If I were you, I wouldn't even bother to donate for your own surgery. Maybe one unit two weeks before surgery if you really want to, but you really don't want to be in a weakened condition prior to surgery. A lot of Doctor's aren't even recommending it anymore. Bank blood is tested for so many diseases now and the donors are very well screened, so there is very little chance of getting a blood borne disease from it anymore. I had a very bad cold prior to my surgery and couldn't give and my Doctor's secretary told me not to worry about it as there was not a shortage of blood at the time.
Take care, Sally

mgs
09-30-2009, 06:20 PM
I agree, Sally. I had made appointments (at the Red Cross, about 30 mi from here) to donate my blood pre-surgery. I was chatting with our neighbor, who is the head of our hosp's blood bank, and mentioned that I was doing this. She said I shouldn't, that no dr here has recommended it in at least 2 years because the donated blood is so well screened now. She said that, in her opinion, going into such a huge surgery, already compromised, was dumb. I cancelled my appointments, and received 4 units of some kind donors' blood, instead.

JenniferG
10-01-2009, 12:17 AM
I specifically asked my surgeon this, but he didn't recommend it either. I was given blood bank blood.

loves to skate
10-01-2009, 10:11 AM
A blood shortage could be a problem for some people. With this being the start of cold and flu season, a lot of the people who donate regularly aren't able to because they are sick. Keep this in mind when deciding to donate for yourself or not.

Mary Lou

Even with the cold and flu season starting, usually there is only blood shortages during the summer months when people are on vacation, or during the holidays when people are too busy to donate. I had my surgery during the holidays and received 6 pints of bank blood between the two surgeries. However, I am B Positive and received O Positive units probably because of a shortage of B's.
Sally

Vali
10-02-2009, 04:15 AM
Hi Lori,

My surgeon set up my blood donations 5 weeks prior to surgery. I had to give three units and then allow two weeks recovery for the surgery. I was able to donate 2 units succesfully, however on the third week, my haemoglobin fell below the benchmark for donation and therefore he requested a unit to be crossmatched. He also ordered cellsaver for me during surgery and I received about 300ml back. My two units were returned to me over the next 24 hours as they were not needed as an emergency (the fresh blood serves as a real pick-me-up) and i'm guessing the donor blood went back to the bank. If your surgeon is not around, maybe just get in touch with the blood bank your surgeons deals with and they may be able to point you in the right direction.
Good Luck:)

jesscv
10-05-2009, 11:23 AM
Prior to my surgery this past spring, I asked my surgeon about donating my own blood. My surgeon did not recommend it, and told me that a recent study suggested donating autologous blood preoperatively can be a bit of a catch 22in that it would be a waste of blood (and time), since the process of donating blood often results in anemia. And, obviously, if anemic going in, the chances of requiring a transfusion would increase. Basically, you're going to lose blood no matter what and while a transfusion is not usually anticipated, in the event one is needed, its better to get blood from the bank. While it used to be true that receiving a transfusion (via the bank) held a risk of being exposed to blood borne disease, the likelihood of this happening now, with the new screening processes, is very low.

Simply stated, my surgeon believes it is much better to go into surgery with a full reserve. It will help you recover more quickly and completely. By donating blood before surgery you deplete not only your red blood cell but also your white blood cells, and platelets as well as the plasma and any other nutrients in your blood leading to a depleted reserve.

loves to skate
10-06-2009, 04:19 PM
I disagree. Yes, summer vacations do sometimes play a role in people not donating, but that's not the only time there are shortages. As you stated yourself, there apparently was a shortage of B+ blood over the holidays when you had surgery. Cold and flu season do play a role in blood shortages.

Mary Lou

Mary Lou,
I worked in blood banks for over 25 years, and the only time there was a shortage was in the summer, usually August, and between Christmas and New Years. We never had a surgery canceled because of any shortage. Surprisingly, the Red Cross came up with the blood when it was needed. Did you work at a blood bank so that you have good reason to disagree? I am just curious. I agree wholeheartedly with Jesscv's post. That was totally our experience at the hospital where I worked. Maybe Lori could round up some Directed Donors instead.

Chances are that the hospital where I had my surgery had an oversupply of O+ blood; so since O is compatible with B (not the other way around) rather that get B's from the Red Cross, they used what they had. However, I don't know this for a fact.

Sally

Doodles
10-06-2009, 06:26 PM
I think you may have misinterpreted Sally's post. I think she truly was curious. She has been on her long enough to recognize her as a very giving and helpful person and not one to criticize others. It is an interesting discussion.
I can't give blood because of difficulties before so tried to set up directed? blood from willing relatives and friends just to replenish the bank and/or see if they were a match for me. It was a logistical nightmare but I kept trying with calls to literally three states. I kept being told the blood bank is so safe so don't worry. So I decided to let that be one less thing to worry about. I needed 6 units during surgery and a week later 4 more so I truly hope all the people I urged to just give blood and not in my behalf did so. It's interesting how this seems to be changing over the years about giving blood for yourself. I certainly think it makes sense to be as strong as possible before surgery w/o having recently given blood that could compromise you in anyway. I am no authority at all--just telling my experience. Janet

loves to skate
10-06-2009, 10:08 PM
I have one more thing to say about blood shortages and then I will quit this discussion. Blood is shipped all over the country so that if there is a shortage of blood say in the Boston area, blood is shipped say from Minneapolis to Boston. The American Red Cross does an amazing job, so everyone, donate when you can. Because I couldn't donate prior to my surgery, I received 6 units of bank blood besides the 2 units of my own blood from the cell saver during my surgery. I have since donated 4 pints of blood and plan to continue as long as I am able. Over the years, I have donated at least 3 gallons of blood, not that I am patting myself on the back, because I know people who have donated 30 or more gallons of blood. My thanks to all the blood donors out there that donated blood for my surgery.
Sally

JenniferG
10-06-2009, 10:43 PM
Hear hear!

I have never donated blood because I've always been such a sook about needles but that's changed somewhat this year. I would definitely like to become a donor especially as I was a recipient but, question for you Sally: How far out from surgery is it reasonable to make my first donation?

debbei
10-07-2009, 06:05 AM
I have one more thing to say about blood shortages and then I will quit this discussion. Blood is shipped all over the country so that if there is a shortage of blood say in the Boston area, blood is shipped say from Minneapolis to Boston. The American Red Cross does an amazing job, so everyone, donate when you can. Because I couldn't donate prior to my surgery, I received 6 units of bank blood besides the 2 units of my own blood from the cell saver during my surgery. I have since donated 4 pints of blood and plan to continue as long as I am able. Over the years, I have donated at least 3 gallons of blood, not that I am patting myself on the back, because I know people who have donated 30 or more gallons of blood. My thanks to all the blood donors out there that donated blood for my surgery.
Sally

Sally,

I donated blood quite a few times before surgery. I've been thinking that it's almost one year post op and I'd like to give again. I received one unit of my own, and 2 units--one from my husband and one from my son. I was wondering recently if we're allowed to give with the implants in our spine, but I guess the answer is yes if you've done so. Thanks for the reminder, I will call next week and ask about donating.

loves to skate
10-07-2009, 03:46 PM
Jennifer and Debbei,
You have to be at least one year out from major surgery and from receiving someone else's blood. That is to make sure you haven't picked up a bloodborn disease from the donor blood, which of course is very rare these days. They don't even ask you about the implants.
Sally

JenniferG
10-07-2009, 04:29 PM
Thanks Sally.

debbei
10-07-2009, 07:04 PM
Jennifer and Debbei,
You have to be at least one year out from major surgery and from receiving someone else's blood. That is to make sure you haven't picked up a bloodborn disease from the donor blood, which of course is very rare these days. They don't even ask you about the implants.
Sally

Yes, thanks Sally. I will call right after my 1 year date. They always used to be after me for my blood. I've got O-, plus something-or-other negative as well which they say they really need. Actually, my whole family is the same blood type; that's how hubby & son donated for me.

I sure know what I'm talking about, don't I? :)

loves to skate
10-07-2009, 07:20 PM
Yes, thanks Sally. I will call right after my 1 year date. They always used to be after me for my blood. I've got O-, plus something-or-other negative as well which they say they really need. Actually, my whole family is the same blood type; that's how hubby & son donated for me.

I sure know what I'm talking about, don't I? :)

You surely do Debbei. You are a universal donor and that is why they were always after you. The reason they need you is many Oneg women built up antibodies during pregnancy if their baby was Rh positive, at least before the advent of RHoGam, so if they subsequently need a blood transfusion, they need to receive Oneg blood that is also negative to the antibody they developed several years ago. They will be happy to have you back.:D
Sally

loris
10-08-2009, 12:01 PM
Thank you everyone for the advice. I finally got a call back from his surgery coordinator and she said that it is not in my orders to donate prior to surgery. So i guess i can stop worrying about that now. I also just found out that they did not put in my surgery order to insure that there is no latex products used in my surgery. OMG it would be horrible if they used latex on me during the surgery.

Vali
10-09-2009, 07:09 AM
Hi Loris,

When the nurse and anaethetist do the pre-op check, they will ask you if you're allergic to latex and any of the dressings they intend to use on you.
I have an allergy to a lot of dressings (sticky) and can only have hyperfix.
You'll be fine.:)

fierceliketiger
10-15-2009, 08:40 PM
3 weeks before my first surgery I did something called a "Double-double red cell" autologous donation. I had lost a rather large amount of weight in the months before, and I guess the blood center used my "old" weight to calculate the body mass needed to do it. Needless to say, I very nearly passed out and they had to stop the donations 3 times during the course. I ended up having to take a fairly high dose of iron pills to get to where it was safe for surgery. After my anterior surgery (2 weeks after the first) I ended up needing more blood than anticipated. The blood bank was determined not to use any family or friends and said it was "safer" to use blood bank blood because of the antibodies. Something about how if you are exposed to certain antibodies the people around you probably are as well, and it is better to get blood with different antibodies. I had never heard of that before, but they assured me the blood bank blood would be safe...(of course there is always a risk).

loves to skate
10-16-2009, 01:14 PM
Dear Fierce,

Yes, there is always a risk, but that risk is extremely small. The reason the blood bank I worked for didn't like to take directed donors was because of the risk of your family members and friends not wanting to say no to you even though they might be in a high risk group that shouldn't donate. In other words, they might not want you to know certain thinks about themselves, so they agree to donate and then might lie to the person interviewing them for a donation.

Also, if you get a donation from your husband and he has a positive antigen for something you are negative for, you could possibly develop an antibody to that antigen. If you subsequently get pregnant, the baby could inherit that antigen from your husband, in which case, your antibody could attack the developing baby. The prime example is the Rh antigen for which there is now RhoGam shots for the mother to absorb her antibodies before they can harm the baby. There are many antigens on human red blood cells. This is probably what the blood bank was trying to explain to you about antibodies. Is this still clear as mud?

Sally