Instead of donating your own blood ahead of time for surgery, some hospitals are collecting it in the operating room for immediate re-infusion during or after surgery. Mislabeling, AIDS, bacteria are some of the big concerns with transfusions, but transfusions are still needed to save lives.
The pools of healthy donors seems to be shrinking as well, so in essence, if a transfusion can be handled in other ways, it appears that is the way to go. Earlier this year the Red Cross was fined by the FDA and in June further action was threatened by the FDA over what it felt was inadequate screening for HIV and hepatitis pathogens. BD
Amid rising blood costs and mounting safety concerns about transfusions, hospitals are adopting stricter measures to manage their blood supplies. A growing number of hospitals are developing guidelines for when transfusions are necessary, and they are making sure doctors are in compliance. Institutions also are increasingly checking patients for anemia before surgery and treating them with iron or red-blood-cell-boosting drugs to cut down on transfusions in the operating room.