Autologous Blood Transfusion with Recombinant Erythropoietin Treatment in Anaemic Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis
In an attempt to eliminate the hazards of homologous blood transfusions during major orthopedic surgical procedures, 1672 patients donated 6615 units of autologous blood in a ten-year period. Most of the blood components were stored frozen. The autologous units were later used in 1938 surgical procedures. Intraoperative blood salvage yielded 125,105 mL of blood with an average hematocrit of 80% (0.80), which was reinfused into 934 patients. Autologous blood components accounted for 95% of the transfusion requirements. Thus, the risks of homologous transfusions were avoided in the vast majority of the procedures. Ninety-one percent of the donors were older than 50 years of age and 8.4% were between 80 and 91 years of age. The large-scale use of autologous blood has been feasible, practical, and cost efficient, has contributed to the community's blood supply, and provides the patient with the safest blood available--his own blood.