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July 8, 1988

Appropriateness of Autologous Blood Transfusion

Author Affiliations

Health Assurance Corp Sunnyvale, Calif

Health Assurance Corp Sunnyvale, Calif

JAMA. 1988;260(2):181. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410020041018

To the Editor.—  I would like to reply to comments provided by Dr Oberman1 in responding to a question about the appropriateness of autologous transfusion for a patient with a hematocrit of 0.32.I quote him and respond:"Any transfusion may result in fluid overload." I consider this the result of poor practice or flawed judgment; this should not be considered an inherent risk in autologous or other transfusion."In addition, there is the possibility of human error resulting in accidental transfusion of homologous blood or of another patient's autologous blood." Myhre2 reported that between 1975 and 1979 fatal errors resulting from giving the wrong blood to the wrong person occurred 30 times during the transfusion of about 37 million units, for a risk of 8.11× 10-7per unit. It does happen, just as it happens that medications are given to the wrong patient, but that does not