Autotransfusion devices are units that administers a person own blood for a transfusion, instead of banked donor blood. Blood can be pre-donated before a surgery, or can be collected during and after the surgery using a device commonly known as the Cell Saver. The Cell Saver is utilized in surgeries where there is expected a large volume blood loss. For example, aneurysm, total joint replacements and spinal surgeries. There are also small reservoir devices designed to collect the patients blood for return, such as the Orthopat and Constavacs.
The first documented use of the procedure was in 1818, and interest in the practice continued until the Second World War, at which point blood supply became less of an issue, due to the increased number of blood donors. Later, interest in the procedure returned with new automated machinery being developed for it. Autotransfusion is used in a number of orthopedic, trauma and cardiac cases, amongst others, and it carries advantages, including the reduction of infection risk and the provision of more functional cells.
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