What is the Autologous Blood Transfusion Program?

The Autologous Blood Transfusion Program allows you to donate your own blood for your own surgical blood needs. When you are transfused with your own blood, the risk of contracting infectious diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS is minimized along with other undesirable side effects.

Who Can Donate?

Most people can participate in our Autologous Blood Transfusion Program if they are scheduled for surgery at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. Your physician and the Blood Bank Medical Director will determine if it is safe for you to donate.

How Do I Start?

First you must discuss this option with your physician who must give an order to the blood Donor Center nurses. It is important to do this as soon as possible after the decision for surgery is made to allow enough time to donate all desired units. Your physician will determine how many donations should be made based on how much blood is generally used for the type of surgery you are having.

When Should I Begin My Donations?

Donation schedules are tailored to meet your needs and depend on the number of units to be collected. Donations may be started up to 35 days before your scheduled surgery and are usually scheduled once a week. You may not donate less than 72 hours before scheduled surgery. To schedule an appointment, please call (310) 517-4647.

Will My Blood Be Tested For Diseases?

Your blood will be tested the same as all blood donor units for diseases that can be transmitted by blood, including tests for different kinds of hepatitis, antibodies to the AIDS virus, syphilis, antibodies to the HTLV-I/II virus, and HIV-1 antigen. Patients who are found to have a positive test for AIDS or hepatitis B virus are not eligible to participate in our Autologous Blood Transfusion Program.

Will The Blood I Donate Meet All Of My Transfusion Needs?

The autologous units you donate will be stored for your surgery. However, blood components other than whole blood or packed cells, such as plasma and platelets, are also sometimes used. Additionally, it is possible that you may need more whole blood or packed cells than the autologous units you donated. When blood components and/or additional whole blood or packed cells are necessary, they will be obtained from our inventory of volunteer donors who are carefully screened and extensively tested. Ask your physician about the likelihood of needing additional blood and blood components from the regular inventory.

What Do I Do If My Surgery is Postponed?

You must notify Torrance Memorial's Blood Bank at 310-517-4648 as soon as possible, if your surgery is postponed, moved up, rescheduled, cancelled, or if additional surgery is planned. If the Blood Bank is not kept informed, your blood may expire unnecessarily or not be available when you need it.

Is There A Fee For This Service?

Yes. You will be billed at the time of donation for blood collection, testing, reservations and storage procedures. These are generally outpatient charges and are billed regardless of whether or not you require the transfusion. Additional fees will be charged depending on the services required. Insurance coverage varies, so you may want to contact your insurance carrier.

What Are All The Steps For Participating In The Autologous Blood Transfusion Program?

  • First, discuss the possibility of blood transfusions and all your options with your physician.
  • Have your physician give an order to the Blood Donor Center nurses.
  • Call the Blood Donor Center for an appointment(s) at 310-517-4647.
  • On the day of the donation, eat a good meal and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Take all prescribed medications as usual.
  • Pre-registration is required before donating. Arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment to register if you haven't done so already.
  • At the time of donation, the blood will be carefully marked to ensure that you receive your own blood.
  • If surgery is postponed, call the Blood Bank at 310-517-4648.