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What is Autologous Blood Donation?

Autologous blood donation means donating your own blood for use, if needed, during or after your
surgery.

Requirements for Donating Your Blood

Your surgeon will determine whether you are likely to require a blood transfusion for your surgery.
Your surgeon's staff will help you schedule your first donation appointment.

All autologous blood donors must sign consent forms at the DeGowin Blood Center at the University
of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. However, arrangements can be made to donate your blood at a blood
center nearer to your home.

You must bring a list of all of the medications that you take to each blood donation appointment.

It is very important that you do not have cold, flu, of infection symptoms for at least 3 days prior to
each blood donation.

If you are taking an antibiotic, you must wait 3 days from the last dose taken to donate blood.

Your hematocrit (red blood cell count) must be at least 33% to donate your blood at each donation
appointment.

The Blood Center nurse will check your hematocrit before each blood donation.

For Your Information

Autologous blood donation can begin up to 6 weeks before your surgery.

One unit/pint equals about 2 cups.

Only one unit/pint may be collected at each donation appointment.

You may feel tired after you donate so bring someone who can drive.

You may donate as often as every 3-5 days depending on your hematocrit. However, once a week
is preferable.

Your surgeon will want you to take an iron supplement to help your body make more red cells to
replace the ones you donated. It is important that you continue to take your iron as prescribed, up to
your surgery date.

Each unit of blood you donate is usable for up to 42 days from the day of donation.

If you do not use the blood you donated for your surgery, it will be properly disposed of . Your
blood will not be used by anyone else.

Blood Center charges cover collecting, testing, and storing blood until it is needed. Therefore, the fee
charged is for each unit drawn whether it is used or not.

Please allow 1 to 1 1/2 hours for each donation. This allows enough time for paperwork, screening,
and donating your blood.

It takes your body 3-6 weeks to replace the red blood cells collected at each donation. However, it
only takes a few hours to replace the volume of fluid you donate.

Finally, all blood is very safe, but your blood is the safest.

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