Autologous transfusion is the name of a process that could prove to be a safe and effective way of reinfusing a patient's own blood while in surgery.
"A small study of 94 emergency trauma surgery patients showed that those receiving their own blood required fewer units of packed red cells and fresh frozen plasma than those receiving donor transfusions. The shed blood was vacuumed from the surgical field, mixed with heparin sodium to prevent clotting, and pumped to a sterile container for reinfusion."
According to the American Red Cross, more than 38,000 donations of blood are used daily in the U.S. Certainly this number would be reduced if autologous transfusions were to become a reality. And the expense would also be reduced as a result of this process, from an average of $2,584 for the donor transfusion group to $1, 616 for the autologous transfusion group.
More research will be needed to determine whether this process is indeed safe and effective.