The Australian Red Cross Blood Service preoperative autologous blood collection policy was revised on 1 July 2014, following the release of the National Blood Authority (NBA) Patient Blood Management (PBM) Guidelines: Module 2 Perioperative(1), and a review of current evidence and international practice(2,3).
A consultation process was employed, and the new policy endorsed by the National Blood Authority.
The Blood Service continues to provide autologous blood collection for exceptional circumstances, being a patient with a rare blood group or multiple red cell antibodies whose transfusion requirements cannot be met with allogeneic blood.
Preoperative autologous blood collection reduces the risk of allogeneic red cell transfusion but increases the risk of receiving any red cell transfusion (allogeneic and autologous).(1) Refer to Blood conservation for information on reasons why routine preoperative autologous collection is discouraged.
In the rare circumstances where preoperative autologous blood collection is indicated, the current Blood Service requirements and policy are applicable.
The referring doctor is responsible for:
- Providing information and gaining consent of the patient for the autologous collections. A patient information brochure is available to assist with this.
- Completion of the Blood Service Autologous Blood Request Form.
- For assistance with appropriate documentation, please contact the Medical Services team in your state.
Patients must meet the Blood Service eligibility criteria for donors including a haemoglobin ≥120 g/L for females and ≥130 g/L for males. This will help minimise the risk of preoperative anaemia.
Not all State or Territory governments provide funding for autologous blood collection so a charge may apply for autologous collections in some areas.
The Blood Service is not the only provider of preoperative autologous blood collection services. In cases where a patient and/or their treating clinician are committed to autologous blood collection, a pathology provider may assist with this service.
We recommended that any autologous collection follow the Australian & New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion (ANZSBT) Guidelines for Autologous Blood Collection.
- National Blood Authority. Patient Blood Management Guidelines: Module 2 – Perioperative. Australia, 2012.
- Boulton FE, James V. Guidelines for policies on alternatives to allogeneic blood transfusion. 1 Predeposit autologous blood donation and transfusion. Transfus Med 2007;17:354–365.
- Walsh TS, Prowse C. BCSH guidelines for policies on alternatives to allogeneic blood transfusion. 1 Predeposit autologous blood donation and transfusion. Transfus Med 2007;17:353.