Autologous blood use for free flap breast reconstruction: a comparative evaluation of a preoperative blood donation program.
BACKGROUND: New insights into potential adverse effects of banked blood and improved infectious surveillance have led to questions regarding the utility of preoperative autologous blood donation. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of 153 patients undergoing abdominal free flap breast reconstruction was performed with the goal of determining the effect of an autologous blood donation program on clinical outcomes. Demographic and premorbid conditions were evaluated along with outcome variables including complication and transfusion rates. RESULTS: As expected, the autologous blood donor group (n = 96) was more likely to receive a blood transfusion of any kind compared with the nondonors (98% vs. 18%, P < 0.0001). Surprisingly, the mean number of allogeneic transfusions was not decreased (0.26 vs. 0.84, P = 0.066). The mean number of complications between groups were comparable (0.53 vs. 0.57, P = 0.687). CONCLUSION: We found neither significant benefit nor adverse effect from the practice of autologous blood banking for free flap breast reconstruction. The practice should be considered safe but not routinely recommended for free flap breast surgery.
Louer, CR; Chang, JB; Hollenbeck, ST; Zenn, MR
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