IN MOST PLACES in the US, bank blood is always readily available. Where this is not the case, autotransfusion may be lifesaving. Before Milles and associates1 published their recent paper, the term "autotransfusion" meant either the forcing of blood into vital regions by bandaging or elevating the extremities, or the emergency reinfusion of blood shed into the abdomen or chest. They use this term for readministration of the patient's own blood previously drawn and stored, a procedure mentioned in passing 40 years ago by Grant.2 Gode3 suggests for this form of autotransfusion the term "delayed autotransfusion" as opposed to emergency or immediate autotransfusion, which appears to be a good way to distinguish the two procedures.
Report of a Case
On April 4, 1963, a 30-year-old Mexican woman in deep shock came to the emergency room of Valley Baptist Hospital, Harlingen, Tex. She had been "sick for a
Lamm H. Emergency Autotransfusion Before Laparotomy. JAMA. 1963;185(13):1043. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060130061021