The blood supply in the United States is subjected to such extensive testing that it is currently regarded as the safest blood transfusion system in the world. Some patients may, however, wish to participate in an autologous blood program, in which they donate their own blood days or weeks before a scheduled surgery. Then at the time of their surgical procedure, they can be transfused with their own blood, thus avoiding many, but not all, risks associated with transfusion.
Southwest Healthcare System has made arrangements with the San Diego Blood Bank to enable our patients to participate in such autologous blood programs. Patients who wish to have their own blood available for a scheduled surgery should discuss this with their physicians, who can counsel them as to whether they would be medically able to donate for themselves. If the patient and physician decide that autologous donations would be appropriate, the patient should contact the Blood Bank at 800-479-3902 to obtain details on how to arrange such donations.
Sometimes a patient cannot donate blood and would prefer to have a family member or a close friend donate blood specifically for his or her use. The San Diego Blood Bank can also help patients arrange these "directed" or "designated" donations. Again, patients should discuss this with their physicians, who must authorize such donations.
When you need to find a doctor for yourself or your family, our FREE Direct Doctors Plus physician referral service can help.
Patients and their family members may want to learn more about the blood supply and the issues of safety and availability of blood for transfusion. Excellent sources of information on the Internet include: