Autologous blood transfusion (ABT) is increasingly used in order to avoid transfusion-related risks. The effectiveness of this simple and feasible procedure depends on several factors, such as the timing of surgery, the patient's overall condition and, last but not least, the pre-disposition of the medical team towards the routine use of ABT. We report our experience in blood support with ABT for general thoracic surgical patients, indicating an overall partially satisfactory outcome due to a limited use of the procedure. In 1992, 61 patients (38%) received autologous blood only, as compared to 9 patients (6%) who had received ABT in 1989. The average pre-deposit per patient ratio in 1992 was 1.2 units, which provided insufficient autologous blood support. In the same period, only 23 patients were subjected to acute normovolemic hemodilution (ANH). However, we noted a reduction of homologous transfusions from 2.9 ± <2.1 in 1989 to 2.0 ± <1.5 in 1992 (P 11 g%. Based on our data, we emphasize a more extensive move to ANH, along with pre-deposit, in order to avoid unnecessary homologous blood transfusions.
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