Total Joint Replacement can result in some blood loss. Although transfusion is not always necessary, many patients prefer to give their own blood before surgery.
Iron information for autologous donors
Iron is recommended so you can safely donate blood for your surgery. Slow-Fe (time released) is recommended and available over-the counter. Please start your iron supplements as soon as possible before your first blood donation.
Iron may be better absorbed if taken one hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
Iron tablets may discolor urine or stools, and may cause constipation. If constipation is a problem, drink more fluids and include high fiber foods in your diet, such as dried fruits, beans bran and other whole grains.
USING YOUR OWN BLOOD – Using your own Blood can minimize or eliminate the need for transfusion with donor Blood. This technique will reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of transfusion-related infections and allergic reactions. Mistakes are made.
Autologous Blood Donation – Autologous Blood donation is not the best option for everyone. You should consult your physician as to whether it is safe or appropriate for you to donate. Autologous Blood collection may not be available at the hospital in which your procedure or surgery will be performed. Consult with your doctor, and talk with all of the local Blood Centers about the availability of Blood, the various autologous procedure options, and whether or not autologous donation may be appropriate for you.
Donating Blood Before Surgery – Blood banks can draw your Blood and store it for your use. This process usually is used for planned surgery. Blood can be stored for only a limited period of time, so coordinating the donations with the date of surgery is very important. As an alternative procedure, there is hemodilution, a procedure where the patient’s Blood is collected prior to surgery and replaced with a ‘plasma expander.’ The theory is that any bleeding during surgery will lose fewer RBC’s. The previously collected, higher hematocrit Blood, can be reinfused following surgery.
Donating Blood During Surgery – Your surgeon may be able to recycle your Blood during surgery. Blood that normally is lost and discarded during surgery can be collected, processed and returned to you. This process is performed by devices such as the ‘Cell Saver,’ or by other Blood conservation technique. This devices are used to collect your own Blood during surgery, cleanse it, and return it with a saline dilutant to your system.
Also available during the surgical procedures, is ‘wound drainage.’ In this process, Blood is collected from cavities (such as a joint space into which bleeding has occurred) and returned through a filter, which removes big items, but does not remove inflammatory chemical mediators or cytokines. These techniques require a hyper-clean operating area.
A large volume of your Blood can be recycled this way. Either of these methods can minimize or even eliminate the need to accept the unknown Blood from a stranger.
Donating Blood After Surgery – Blood that has been lost during surgery and collected but not used, can be filtered and returned to you. This process may minimize or eliminate the need to be transfused with someone else’s Blood that is often needed after surgery.