Autologous donation is available for prospective patients who are undergoing elective surgery and who meet the blood donor acceptance criteria who may choose to use their own blood for transfusion.
The WPBTS is dedicated to providing the safest blood products and services to the community. We also respect the fact that individuals may prefer to receive their own blood for transfusion. That is why we offer the service of autologous donation, which is the opportunity for individuals to donate for their planned surgery and blood transfusion.
What are the requirements?
To consider autologous donation, the individual must be between the ages of 12 and 70 years old and fulfil the health requirements of regular blood donors. The WPBTS haemoglobin acceptance level for autologous donors is ≥ 11,0 g/dl, equivalent to a haematocrit of 33 %. We recommend that an iron supplement is taken prior to the start of the first donation to prevent anaemia during the donation process. Pregnant women may also donate, provided there are no complications in pregnancy. Exceptions to these acceptance requirements may be approved by our Transfusion Medical Specialist or CEO/Medical Director. Individuals will be excluded from donating if they have signs or symptoms of bacterial/viral infection or are being treated for same.
How does it work?
The surgeon will decide on the number of units required and the donation schedule will be planned well in advance. Donations may be made a minimum of every four days provided the haemoglobin remains within the acceptance criteria. The last donation is made three to seven days prior to surgery to allow the body to replenish the blood lost during donation.
What tests are performed?
Aside the full blood count test, autologous donations undergo the same mandatory testing as regular blood donations. The individuals doctor will be informed of any abnormal test result, with the patients consent. Individuals who are NAT reactive, Anti-HIV 1/2, HBsAg or Anti-HCV reactive will not be accepted onto the autologous programme and will be counselled individually. Units which are TPHA reactive or have cross reactive results on any of the tests, may be issued with the CEO/ Medical Director’s permission, in consultation with the patient’s doctor.
After the final donation, the doctor, anaesthetist and ward sister will be informed of the total number of autologous units collected for the prospective patient and whether the patient has requested that he/she refuse blood from the allogeneic supply should the Autologous unit(s) be insufficient for their requirements. The autologous units will be labelled with a green autologous tag and sticker.
Compatibility testing is performed on autologous donations. The doctor should submit the routine cross-match laboratory request to Blood Bank. This request will be labelled with an orange sticker specifying autologous donation. WPBTS staff will check with patient’s doctor about the disposal or retention of FFP units.
The Specialised Donation Information Leaflet, service tariff and sample quotes will be sent to the doctor and patient.
An autologous unit of blood costs the same as that from the general blood supply. A once-off autologous procedure is however billed, to cover the cost of the administration and additional blood tests i.e. full blood count. The autologous donations/procedure should be pre-authorised by the individuals’ medical aid.
Autologous blood donations which are not used will only be transferred to the general blood supply if donated by a regular donor who has donated within the past 12 months and who meets the regular blood donation acceptance criteria. Transportation costs.
How to register
The patients consent for autologous donation and the doctors’ request form should be completed and returned by fax to the WPBTS Specialised Donation Unit. For pregnant women, consent must also be obtained from the gynaecologist. The information will be reviewed to assess the individuals’ suitability for autologous donation. The prospective patient will be contacted, to schedule the appointment(s) for the venesection programme. The donations will take place at our Specialised Donation Unit or fixed site blood donation centre, by appointment.