Autologous Blood Donation
Some patients undergoing elective surgery in which blood may be needed use preadmission autologous blood banking (predeposit phlebotomy). General guidelines for autologous banking include good overall health, HCT > 34%, and arm veins that can accommodate a 16-gauge needle. Patients can usually donate up to 1 unit every 3–7 d until 3–7 d before surgery (individual blood banks have their own specifications), depending on the needs of the planned surgical procedure. Iron supplements (eg, ferrous gluconate 325 mg PO tid) are usually given before and for several months after the donation. The use of erythropoietin in this preoperative setting is being investigated. Units of whole blood can be held for up to 35 d.