If you are scheduled for joint replacement surgery, one of your concerns may be the safe replacement of your lost blood. Instead of receiving donor blood, you may be a candidate for auto-transfusion. Auto-transfusion means you receive your own blood. This can be done in three different ways.
- Before surgery: You may schedule appointments and donate your own blood. This is known as autologous blood. It will be stored and reinfused as needed during or after your surgery. Your body will replace your blood cells between donations.
- During surgery: Blood lost from your surgical site may be saved, washed, and replaced while in surgery. This is known as cell saving. While many orthopaedic surgical sites shed little blood during surgery, a significant amount may be lost following surgery.
- After surgery: In many orthopaedic patients, a wound drain is placed in the surgical site to reduce bruising, swelling, and the risk of infection. Drains are important to aid in healing. The blood collected from the wound drain can be reinfused into the patient in the recovery room or on the nursing unit within six hours.
The Constavac Reinfusion System applies a gentle vacuum suction to the wound drain. The blood from the surgical site is filtered and collected in the drainage system. When a signficant amount of blood is collected, it is transferred to an intravenous bag and reinfused back to the patient.
This system helps to return your lost blood to your circulation quickly and efficiently. Your own blood is easily accepted by the body. It is a perfect match. While there are always some risks with reinfusion, each transfusion is carefully monitored. The reinfusion system is a safe way to help you in your recovery. You supply the best blood to aid in your healing - your own.
Discuss the possibilities of auto-transfusion with your physician. In most cases, auto-transfusion is possible.