ALTERNATIVES to GETTING a BLOOD TRANSFUSION
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Blood transfusion carries some risks and the Blood supply is limited. Alternatives to getting a Blood transfusions are available. You have a choice. Your Blood is the Best Blood for you.

Autologous Blood Transfusion - Giving a person back his or her own Blood cuts down on the need for transfusions from other Blood donors. Donating your own Blood for your own use at a later date is called autologous Blood donation. Autologous Blood donation is most often done in the weeks before you have a scheduled surgery that will likely require Blood transfusion. This self-donated Blood can then be used during or after the operation to replace any Blood you may loose. This is the safest form of Blood transfusion because you’re getting your own whole Blood. Though not totally without risk, as there is always the very small chance of contamination, clerical errors or mis-handling. If you are unable to donate Blood to others, you may still be able to donate Blood for yourself. Autologous Blood transfusion is often used by patients whose religious beliefs do not allow them to have banked Blood transfusions. There is a processing fee for collecting, testing, storing and delivering each unit of autologous Blood. Many insurance plans do not fully reimburse you for the cost of self-donation of Blood.

Volume Expanders - When a patient has lost a lot of Blood, but does not need red Blood cells or other specific component parts of Blood, Blood volume expanders may be administered to treat or to prevent complications caused by loss of Blood. The most common volume expanders are normal saline (salt water) and Ringer’s Lactate solution (saline with additional chemicals). Some other Blood volume expanders include albumin, hydroxyethyl starch (HES), dextrans, and purified protein fractions (PPF.)

Intra-operative or Post-operative Blood Salvage - Patients undergoing surgery may need Blood transfusions to replace Blood lost during or after surgery. Often, If you request it in advance, this lost Blood can be ‘salvaged.’ As your Blood is lost during surgery, it is collected with a special machine and infusing it back into your Bloodstream.

Blood Substitutes - There is no real substitute for human Blood. Researchers are working to develop a Blood substitute that will not have the risks of normal Blood transfusions. New products, can perform some functions of red Blood cells such as carrying oxygen to tissues, but they do not replace human Blood. Blood substitutes may be used temporarily in patients whose religious beliefs do not allow them to have Blood transfusions or for patients with rare Blood types whose immune systems would destroy donated Blood. Blood substitutes are often used until compatible donated Blood can be located.

Growth Factors - Many patients need Blood product transfusions. Our bodies make hormone-like substances referred to as Blood forming growth factors. These growth factors stimulate the bone marrow to produce more Blood cells. Researchers have learned how to artificially make some of these growth factors. These help people with low Blood cell counts raising red Blood cell, white Blood cell, or platelet counts. Growth factors are much more expensive than Blood transfusions.

There are questions when you are pregnant about cord blood, cord blood bank, cordblood, the cord blood registry and umbilical cord blood storage. Pregnancy, a new baby, child birth, birth, maternity, baby gift, stem cell and fetus are new words to a new mother. Newborn babies, transplant, expecting, expectant, fetal development, mother, obstetric and advise from your obstetrician to parents. Cord Blood Banking is very important. We suggest that you learn more about saving your baby's Cord Blood after a pregnancy and maternity, look into umbilical cord blood storage. This is a must for expectant parents before childbirth while planning your birthing plan options and parenting. Biomedical and Blood stem cell banking decisions must be made. Free Cord Blood testing and Free Cord Blood Registry.

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   Last updated May 20 21:00:28 2005   bloodmobile.com