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Transfusion Options

Doctor and PatientThe ability to transfuse blood depends upon a safe and ready blood supply. The University of Rochester receives its supply of blood from healthy donors who give to the American Red Cross.

Your doctor should discuss the potential risks, benefits and alternatives with you if you are being considered for transfusion, as part of an informed consent. 

Your doctor may recommend blood transfusion(s) if you remain anemic despite diet and other treatment measures, experience significant blood loss, or have a chronic medical condition in which transfusion is your only treatment.

Blood Products Patients Can Receive

  • Allogeneic blood, which comes from an anonymous donor
  • Blood components, including: 
    • Red blood cells (RBCs)
    • Platelets
    • Plasma
    • Cryoprecipitate: A concentration of clotting factors taken from plasma
  • Autologous blood, which is your own blood. There are two different ways in which your own blood may be used in a transfusion:
    • Hemodilution: A technique whereby your blood is removed just before surgery and is replaced with intravenous fluids. Your own blood is returned to you after surgery.
    • Intraoperative autologous blood collection and reinfusion (Cell Saver or cell salvaging), which occurs when blood you lose during surgery is collected, washed, filtered, and reinfused.

More Information on Autologous Blood Program