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Karen Madgwick, Hospital Transfusion Specialist, from North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, explains in more detail what happens to patients during Autologous Blood Transfusion.

Orthopaedic patient, Paul Grieves, also tells of his experience:

-Karen's guide to the medical facts
Appropriately used donor blood and blood products save lives and provide clinical benefit to many patients. However, blood is in short supply
...more

-Karen's view of a patient's experience
What happens prior to the operation?
Is there anything I could do to prepare?
How long does the procedure take? ...more

-Case Study: Paul Grieves

Paul Grieves from Harlow, Essex had his own blood back following on from a bi-lateral knee replacement operation at the town’s Rivers Hospital ...more

 

Case Study : Paul Grieves

Paul Grieves from Harlow, Essex had his own blood back following on from a bi-lateral knee replacement operation at the town’s Rivers Hospital. Having suffered from arthritis for a number of years, he underwent the knee operation in February 2005.

Paul says that he had not been aware at the outset that having his blood back was an option to him, but when he learned that this was a possibility, he was extremely pleased.

"When I went in for the operation, I wasn’t aware that you could actually have your blood returned to you," he explains. "And when I learned that this could happen to me, I was surprised, but also pleased. Whilst nowadays I am sure there is a very small risk of problems from receiving donor blood, having your own does bring about a sense of relief. Worrying about a blood infection when you’re recovering from major surgery is the last thing you want to have to think about."

Whilst is it difficult for Paul to compare having his own blood back, to having donor blood, (because he has never had a transfusion before), he says that should future circumstances arise whereby he needed to have lost blood replaced, he would always ask to have his own blood re-infused if at all possible.

He continues, "Apart from the obvious discomfort from the operation itself and the recovery time from the anaesthetic, I certainly didn’t suffer any problems as a result of the blood transfusion. Indeed, once the side-effects from the operation had worn off, I felt fine in myself. I have actually recommended that a friend of mine, who is undergoing a hip operation later this year, asks his doctor about having his own blood back. I would recommend it to anyone".

Paul has worked in the licencing trade for the past 15 years. He is married with grandchildren and now owns and runs a pub near Harlow, with his family.