This chapter focuses on preoperative autologous donation (PAD). There are other types of autologous blood use (e.g. acute normovolemic hemodilution and intraoperative and postoperative blood salvage) which are not discussed in this chapter.
PAD refers to the donation of blood by a patient for his/her own future use; generally this is for a scheduled elective surgery. The top three procedures associated with a request for a PAD are total hip replacement, total knee replacement and hysterectomy.
In most cases, allogeneic blood transfusions are a safe and available option. Autologous and directed donations should be confined to circumstances of rare blood types or plasma protein deficiencies in which allogeneic units may not meet patient needs. Rare blood types represent only a small number of autologous units collected each year. See Chapter 13 of this Guide for more information on directed donations.