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Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Transfusion Essentials

​Information

Autologous and directed red blood cell donations are generally discouraged by the Transfusion Medicine community. These products are not considered to be safer than allogeneic donor blood.
 
Request for these donations are available upon special request only, with Transfusion Medicine Physician review prior to CBS application.

Autologous Donation

Pre-operative autologous blood donation (PAD) is a process whereby a patient’s own blood is collected and stored for potential use during an upcoming surgical procedure. Arrangements for autologous blood donation at Canadian Blood Services must be made several weeks prior to the surgical date by physician.
 
PAD may be considered in the setting of a surgery where the risk of transfusion is at least 10%, rare blood type, with no accompanying contraindications. Recommendation for PAD is now limited to patients with a rare blood type, if liquid or frozen red blood cell units cannot be made available from Canadian Blood Services prior to surgery. Donor eligibility criteria for PAD includes a minimum weight of 50 kg and hemoglobin of at least 110 g/L for the first donation. Concurrent iron therapy is recommended.
 
Patients who have donated autologous blood will present on admission with ‘green tags’ from Canadian Blood Services indicating autologous units are available. These tags should be placed onto the patient’s health record chart. Autologous blood must be used prior to the selection of allogeneic donor blood.  Autologous donor units which are collected and not transfused must be discarded.
 
Further reading:
Pambrun C. Clinical Guide to Transfusion, Chapter 16.
https://professionaleducation.blood.ca/en/transfusion/clinical-guide/preoperative-autologous-donation

Directed Donation

This is a process whereby blood is collected from a parent intended for their minor aged child. There is no medical benefit to the child if blood is received from a parent. Due to the genetic similarity between directed donor and recipient pairs, all directed donor blood units must be irradiated prior to transfusion into the recipient to mitigate the risk of transfusion associated graft versus host disease. Arrangements for directed blood donation at Canadian Blood Services must be made several weeks prior to the surgical date by physician.
 
Patients who have directed blood will present on admission with ‘pink tags’ from Canadian Blood Services indicating directed units are available. These tags should be placed onto the patient’s health record chart. Directed blood must be used prior to the selection of allogeneic blood. Directed donor units which are collected and not transfused must be discarded.


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Laboratory Controlled Document LSM-797 v2

Last Modified: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 |
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