Blood Management Clinic
Major surgery can result in a significant amount of blood loss, which can decrease your red blood cell level. In addition, some patients are anemic (low red blood cell count) prior to surgery. Treating the anemia and managing blood issues may help prepare your body for surgery.
The Blood Management Clinic offers three options which you may want to discuss with your doctor:
Plan for a Blood Transfusion From a Donor
Blood from a donor means that the blood you receive will come from the local blood supply or from a person you choose. Donated blood is safer than ever, due to thorough screening techniques. But some risks, such as allergic reactions and the transmission of disease, still remain.
Donated blood is also tested for compatibility. Each person has one of four blood types: A, B, AB or O. When you receive a transfusion, the donor’s blood type is “matched” to your blood type. This reduces the possibility of your body rejecting or reacting to the transfusion.
Donate Your Own Blood for Transfusion
Your blood can be collected before surgery for use during or after your operation. Using your own blood instead of donated blood may decrease but not eliminate all risks, including infection. However, donating your own blood requires advance planning.
When you donate blood, your own red blood cell count and hemoglobin level drops. It takes time for your body to replace the donated blood. Also, you may not be able to donate your own blood if you already have a low red blood cell count (anemia).
Build Your Own Red Blood Cells
If you are unwilling to donate your own blood and want to reduce the possibility of receiving a blood transfusion, drug therapy is available prior to surgery. This may help increase your body’s red blood cell count and hemoglobin level, reducing the chance of a blood transfusion during and after surgery.