If you're undergoing a surgery, you have the option to bank your own blood or not. If you're not sure which of the two to opt for, the following information may help you make an informed decision.
Key Points Yo Think About
It is very rare that a person gets a disease from blood transfusion in the United States. The risk of infection from blood transfusion is much higher in third-world countries.
If you have had blood transfusions before, your body has already formed antibodies against blood that is not your own. If the body, however, confuses the new blood as harmful and tries to get rid of it, problems can occur. This can be avoided through thorough testing.
Risks of infection from blood transfusion can be attributed to errors in labeling. This particular risk is same whether the blood is donated or it is your own stored in the blood bank.
It is possible that your body won't have enough time to recuperate and replace the blood that you have banked just before the surgery. This means that you might not be able to afford to lose more blood during the surgery. In some cases, a transfusion is not necessary even if the person didn't bank his blood before the surgery.
Reasons to Bank Your Blood
If the surgery you're undergoing requires blood transfusion afterwards, it would be a good idea to bank your blood a few weeks before the surgery schedule.
Another good reason to do this is to protect yourself from the risk of disease, infection, and mismatched blood that can cause various health problems.
Reaction to Blood Transfusion
One of the possible risks in blood transfusion is transfusion reaction. This happens when the blood given to you does not match your blood type. This can be due to mislabeling of the unit of blood or misreading the label before the blood is given to you.
The error of using mismatched blood is rare. There is not much to worry about this if you're under the care of reputable doctors and health institutions. This error occurs only in 1 out of 14,000 transfusions. Reaction to blood transfusion may be mild or severe. Severe reactions only happen rarely but they can be life-threatening.
Getting a Disease from Blood Transfusion
As mentioned earlier, it is very rare to get a disease from blood transfusion in the United States. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures and safeguards the proper collection, testing, storage, and usage of blood.
It is possible, however, for the blood to become contaminated with bacteria during or after the donation process. Getting blood that contains bacteria can result in bacterial infection. This risk is the same whether the blood is yours or not.
Risks of Banking Blood
Blood can't be stored for a long time so it's a must to bank your blood only a few weeks before your surgery. But because of this, your body may not have enough time to make new blood, making it a risk to lose more blood during surgery.
Another risk is that you may not be able to bank sufficient blood for your surgery. If the surgery you're undergoing would require more blood than you can bank, you should consider blood donations.