Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Be Your Own Donor

Be Your Own Donor

Patients undergoing elective surgery may wish to donate one or more units of their own (autologous) blood prior to the anticipated date of surgery.

What is autotransfusion?

Auto transfusion is the process by which patients become their own blood donors.

Procedure for donating your own blood

A physician order is required to donate your own blood. Your physician will indicate how many autologous units should be donated. Preferably, the blood should be donated at least three days prior to surgery. Each unit is available for 35 days after donation. Several units may be collected if you begin weeks before your planned surgery.

Arrangements for long-term storage can be made however, there are additional charges involved.

Why should I donate my own blood?

Receiving your own blood is the safest means for a patient and reduces the risk of transfusion- transmitted diseases.

Are there any risks involved in donating my own blood?

If you have certain conditions such as cardiac or cerebrovascular disease, there are increased risks involved. Your doctor can determine if you qualify to donate your own blood. Blood testing has dramatically improved blood safety, reducing the risk of transmission of infectious diseases.

Giving blood for someone else

If you wish to direct your donation to a specific patient (i.e. family member), you will need to complete the form designed for this purpose. The patient must authorize donation by completing a Designated Donor Form. Blood is reserved for two weeks and blood must be donated 48 working hours before use. A fee will be charged to the patient's account.