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Thread: Giving Blood

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
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    1,707

    Giving Blood

    I have given blood in the past, but haven't decided for sure if I am going to donate for my surgery. I don't relish the idea of making trips to the hospital during the month of Dec. when I want to be living life as normally as possible before my surgery, however, I will if it's the best thing to do. Did all of you "on the other side" donate your own blood?
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,163
    Hi Karen,

    My surgeon did not allow me to donate blood pre-op. He wanted me to come to surgery completely tanked up, so to speak. As it was I received 4 units of blood during my 8 hours of surgery, and a few days later, I was quite anemic, so I had two more units.

    In a way it was a relief to not have to worry about donating. The run-up to surgery is so full of anxiety and worries anyway, to throw multiple blood donations in the mix would have been no fun. But, I know many here have pre-donated blood including teenagers, and did ok. If you search the archives there are threads about this that you may find useful, also.

    Good luck and hang tough. This period of waiting to surgery is so hard!

    Gayle
    Gayle, age 50
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1


    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    2010 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    2017 curves stable/skeletely mature

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Euharlee, Georgia
    Posts
    449
    They didn't let you donate blood when I had my surgery. My daughter donated blood for her surgery. You recover better when you have your own blood. You can reject blood donated by others, and it can cause major problems.
    T12- L5 fusion 1975 - Rochester, NY
    2002 removal of bottom of rod and extra fusion
    3/1/11 C5-C6 disc replacement
    Daughter - T7 - L3 fusion 2004

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    i have never head of anyone "rejecting" donated blood...i thought all blood is now screened for hepatitis, AIDS, etc...

    how/why would one reject blood donated if it is the correct blood type for the person receiving it...??
    i read something about chance of allergic reaction between immune system and proteins in the donated blood, but it is supposedly very rare, and can even be treated by a doctor, so the transfusion can continue...
    is that what you were referring to?

    i just noticed that your surgery was in 1975...35 years ago...i am sure blood screening in the blood banks is much safer now than it was 35 years ago!

    jess
    Last edited by jrnyc; 11-11-2010 at 04:04 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    129
    my doc also recommended i didn't donate my own blood prior to surgery. his reason was that donating autologous blood preoperatively can be a bit of a catch 22…in that it would be a “waste” of my blood (and my time), since the process of donating blood often results in anemia. And, obviously, if I was anemic going in, my changes of requiring a transfusion would increase. basically, with an extensive surgery like this, i was going to lose blood no matter what, and while a transfusion wasn't anticipated in my case, i did end up needing one anyway (only because i had to have a second, unexpected surgery the day after my first surgery!), but i did just fine with getting blood from the bank.

    my doc also said that it is much better to go into surgery with a full reserve. It will help patients 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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    416

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by jesscv View Post
    my doc also recommended i didn't donate my own blood prior to surgery. his reason was that donating autologous blood preoperatively can be a bit of a catch 22…in that it would be a “waste” of my blood (and my time), since the process of donating blood often results in anemia. And, obviously, if I was anemic going in, my changes of requiring a transfusion would increase. basically, with an extensive surgery like this, i was going to lose blood no matter what, and while a transfusion wasn't anticipated in my case, i did end up needing one anyway (only because i had to have a second, unexpected surgery the day after my first surgery!), but i did just fine with getting blood from the bank.

    my doc also said that it is much better to go into surgery with a full reserve. It will help patients 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.

    This is exactly what my surgeon said to me...I ended up needing 6 units for my second surgery this year. I felt completely comfortable receiving blood from the blood bank.
    And there is no way I could have donated that much blood in time for my surgery and then replenished it on my own.
    May 2008 Fusion T4 - S1, Pre-op Curves T45, L70 (age 48). Unsuccessful surgery.

    March 18, 2010 (age 50). Revision with L3 Osteotomy, Replacement of hardware T11 - S1 , addition of bilateral pelvic fixation. Correction of sagittal imbalance and kyphosis.

    January 24, 2012 (age 52) Revision to repair pseudoarthrosis and 2 broken rods at L3/L4.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ukiah CA
    Posts
    891
    well i didn't donate my blood because it was way to late to because my surgery was the day after my preop appt
    Kara
    25
    Brace 4-15-05-5-25-06
    Posterior Spinal Fusion 3-10-10
    T4-L2
    Before 50T
    After 20T

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Karen--
    I agree with all of the above. You want to be in top shape for surgery. I didn't donate but was given 4 units during surgery and another 4 about 8 days later. The blood banks are very safe now from everything I read at the time. Save your strength and time!
    Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    778
    Quote Originally Posted by jrnyc View Post
    i have never head of anyone "rejecting" donated blood...i thought all blood is now screened for hepatitis, AIDS, etc...

    how/why would one reject blood donated if it is the correct blood type for the person receiving it...??
    i read something about chance of allergic reaction between immune system and proteins in the donated blood, but it is supposedly very rare, and can even be treated by a doctor, so the transfusion can continue...
    is that what you were referring to?

    i just noticed that your surgery was in 1975...35 years ago...i am sure blood screening in the blood banks is much safer now than it was 35 years ago!

    jess
    Rejecting blood has nothing to do with the screening process. I know someone who had a reaction to donated blood, only problem is, I have to think who it is so I can ask for details!

    Mary Lou
    Mom to Jamie age 21-diagnosed at age 12-spinal fusion 12/7/2004-fused from T3-L2; and Tracy age 19, mild Scoliosis-diagnosed at age 18.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    156
    Ditto to all those stating they didn't donate blood prior to surgery.

    My surgeon is also opposed to donating your own - I wouldn't have been able to give enough anyway as I needed 7 units of platelets and plasma durning the surgery and then a 2 unit transfusion on the morning of Day 3.

    If you don't have to do it, you can feel safe using blanked blood.
    Just my two cents.....
    Julie - 51 yrs old

    Dx'd 1973 - 43* thoracic curve / rotation
    Wore Milwaukee brace 1973 - 1979
    Pre-surgery: 63* thoracic / 52* lumbar curves


    Surgeries: P - March 16, 2009 - Fused T3-S2 with pelvic fixation
    A -April 14, 2009 - Fused L5-S1
    Achieved +70% Correction
    Dr. Khaled Kebaish, (and team) Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore


    Standing x-ray
    New Spine 03/19/2009
    New Spine Lateral 03/19/2009

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    Thanks, to all of you who responded. After reading your comments, I am not going to donate my own blood unless Dr. Lenke thinks it's for the best.
    Thanks, again.
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Carmel/Indianapolis
    Posts
    246
    Dr Bridwell would not let me donate my own blood. Wanted me fully leaded so to speak. I ended up only needing one unit of bank blood during surgery.
    Age 56
    Wore a Milwaukee Brace for 3 years in hs
    Fused L4-S1 for high grade spondylolisthesis Jan '09 in Indy
    Thoracic 68
    Surgery Aug 31, 2010 T3 to L1
    Dr Bridwell St Louis
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...1&d=1289881696

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,978
    I guess I'll be one who says I did. I worked hard at it, but was able to donate 4 units of blood. I know I've read you build it back up fairly quickly. My surgeon preferred having my own blood, so I did my part to try to do it. They used all 4 units, plus the cell saver blood from the surgery itself.
    67 and plugging along...
    2007 52° w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15°
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    NEW 10/2018 x-rays show spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
    Posts
    1,445
    Some people build up blood quickly and some don't. Usually young people and men have no trouble building blood back up. Older women and people who no longer eat lots of red meat build blood up slowly. You can take iron if you want to get constipated. As a registered medical technologist, I worked in blood banks for years. We saw women try to donate for their own surgery only to have to be transfused before going into surgery. It is not worth it in my opinion. I would have donated one unit if I hadn't come down with a horrible cold five weeks before my surgery. Consequently, I didn't donate.

    True transfusion reactions are extremely rare. Sometimes people break out in hives or spike a low grade fever, but that can happen getting back your own blood because you could be reacting to the anticoagulant or the plastic tubing. Some people react to the white blood cells in blood, but most blood is filtered now when it is drawn to take out the wbc's . A true transfusion reaction can happen if the patient has been sensitized through pregnancy (usually an Rh negative mother with a baby that is Rh positive) but with the use of RhoGam, that never happens as long as the mother is given RhoGam. There are other antigen-antibody systems that can cause transfusion reactions, but testing is very sensitive now and usually are picked up during screenings. That is why you will probably have a sample of blood drawn at pretesting and sent to the blood bank for testing prior to your surgery.

    I hope this helps and isn't too technical. Sally
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F. Rands735.photobucket.com/albums/ww360/butterflyfive/

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    225
    I am not "on the other side", but for what it's worth, my surgeon also said he preferred that I not bank my own blood, for all the reasons previously mentioned.
    Stephanie, age 56
    Diagnosed age 8
    Milwaukee brace 9 years, no further treatment, symptom free and clueless until my 40s that curves could progress.
    Thoracolumbar curve 39 degrees at age 17
    Now somewhere around 58 degrees thoracic, 70 degrees thoracolumbar
    Surgeon Dr. Michael S. O'Brien, Baylor's Southwest Scoliosis Center, Dallas TX
    Bilateral laminectomies at L3 to L4, L4 to L5 and L5 to S1 on April 4, 2012
    Foramenotomies L3 through S1 in August 2014

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