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July 26, 1985

Autologous Transfusion Endorsed

Author Affiliations

Sacred Heart Hospital Norristown, Pa

JAMA. 1985;254(4):507. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360040057020

To the Editor.—  The recent SPECIAL COMMUNICATION from the Hospital Transfusion Committee1 overlooks what appears to be a major safety factor in the preoperative preparation of patients for elective surgical procedures. As a practicing rheumatologist, it is my policy, whenever feasible, to perform preoperative phlebotomy of two or three units prior to the performance of reconstructive surgical procedures such as total hip or knee arthroplasty. The transfusion of the patient's own blood eliminates the obvious problems mentioned in the initial paragraph of the SPECIAL COMMUNICATION and would essentially eliminate other viral-transmitted diseases.Establishment of a preoperative phlebotomy protocol has been achieved with success in several of the community hospitals in which our patients undergo arthroplastic surgery. The medical as well as medicolegal advantages should be immediately apparent to both physician and administrator. I would suspect that almost any physician who feels he or she must undergo elective surgery would feel