Before your surgery, talk to your doctor about autotransfusion.

A simple and safer alternative to receiving donated blood, autotransfusion lets you re-use your own blood, which is collected, filtered and washed during your surgery. Sometimes called cell salvage, cell saver or blood harvesting, autotransfusion has been performed routinely during surgeries for the last 30 years. Used literally thousands of times a day, autotransfusion is considered a “standard of care” to avoid donated blood transfusions during and after surgery. That’s because your OWN blood is the safest blood supply around, but if you don’t ask for autotransfusion prior to your procedure, you may not receive it!

ABR has been performing autotransfusion for more than 20 years. Based in Atlanta, we have earned the trust of more than 60 hospitals and 300 physicians’ groups in the Southeast.

For every unit of donated blood you receive, your immune system is compromised more and more. This reduction in immune response reduces your ability to fight off infection, thus increasing the amount of time it may take you to recover from a surgical procedure.

In addition, blood transfusions can involve potential risks such as HIV, hepatitis, West Nile and other blood-borne diseases or transfusion-related complications, including allergic reactions to the donated blood. These complications can be reduced or eliminated with autotransfusion.

Finally, the blood donor pool is getting smaller as more screening is done to ensure the safety of the blood supply. At the same time, donated supplies are in great demand, causing a strain on the donor system.

ABR uses specialized devices to collect the blood that is normally lost during and after surgery. Once enough of your blood is collected, it takes only a few minutes for our skilled technicians to filter your blood, separate the components, wash the red blood cells, and then restore the blood that was lost. This is your blood, collected from you and returned at the point of care.
You may not. But in general, bleeding does occur during surgical procedures, and your surgeon needs to have a clear view of the surgery site. When the blood obstructs your surgeon’s view, it is eliminated via suction to allow for greater visibility. In the past, the blood collected during surgery was thrown away, and if your surgeon thought you needed blood replacement, you would receive blood that was donated by another person and stored in a blood bank. For years this was the most common method of replacing blood lost during surgery.
Most surgical procedures – including, but not limited to, vascular surgery, spinal surgery, hip and knee replacement, gynecology, and trauma cases – can benefit from autotransfusion.
Ask your physician. Often, we can set up a “standby” system until the extent of surgical blood loss is known. If there is a sufficient amount of blood loss, we then process the blood and return it to you. Autotransfusion may not be necessary in all surgical procedures.
No problem! ABR technicians are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
ABSOLUTELY NOT! Receiving your own blood is the safest transfusion choice. There is no chance of acquiring a transmittable disease by receiving your own blood.
Our goal is to keep costs as low as possible to ensure that more patients can benefit from our service. By contracting with the hospital, we are able to provide the technician, supplies, equipment and the highest quality of care that you and your surgeon expect. Because our service fees are not based on the quantity of blood returned, autotransfusion is typically much less expensive than receiving donated blood, which can run more than $900 per unit, according to recent studies. The service is included in your overall surgery fees.
Over the years, pre-donation has become a common but expensive procedure. A national survey recently reported that pre-donated blood costs the patient between $400 and $800 per unit. Plus, pre-donating your blood requires several phone calls and often entails multiple visits to a blood center. Autotransfusion is much less expensive and does not require significant pre-planning.
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