What is it?Autotransfusion is an intraoperative cell salvage system. It is designed to reduce overall blood loss in patients during surgery by collecting, filtering and reinfusing the patient's own blood. The procedure can not only significantly save on overall cost of care, but it can also help improve tissue oxygenation and reduce risk of complications associated with the use of third party blood products. The service is beneficial for cases involving significant blood loss, but is also frequently used in minimally invasive procedures for improved results. Autotransfusion can be used in conjunction with a wide variety of complementary products, such as PRP and BMAC, to offer a total blood management solution.
Who is it for?Autotransfusion is commonly used in various cardiac, malignancy, orthopedic, vascular, and obstetric applications. The service has many other applications that may be used in more specialized applications, depending upon the needs of the patient. Autotransfusion should be used any time a patient's anticipated blood loss is greater than 200ml during an operation. Patients with a high risk of bleeding, low heamoglobin levels, or a rare blood type are also good candidates for the procedure. A 1998 study published by Ronald Domen, MD found an 81% reduction in adverse reactions (compared to the use of blood bank products) during an extensive 5 year study. .
How does it work?The cell salvage process is broken into collection, washing, and re-infusion phases. Collection of red blood cells from the operative field is completed through the use of a dedicated double-lumen suction device. One lumen suctions blood from the operative field and the other lumen adds a predetermined volume of heparinized saline to the salvaged blood. The anti-coagulated blood is then passed through a filter and collected into a collection reservoir. Separation of the components is achieved through the use of a precision centrifuge. The red blood cells are then washed and filtered through a semi-permeable membrane, which removes free haemoglobin, plasma, platelets, white blood cells, and heparin. The salvaged red blood cells are then re-suspended in normal saline with a resultant haematocrit of 50–80%. The salvaged cells may subsequently be transfused back into the patient anytime within a six hour window.