Why look for an alternative to standard blood transfusions?

In France alone, more than 500,000 patients receive allogenic blood transfusions each year.9 Although necessary and potentially life-saving, allogenic blood transfusions also present risks, and need to be justified. 7

Transfusions are frequently used during highly hemorrhagic surgery, or in situations of absolute emergency.

But allogenic transfusions are not without risks. 7


patients receive perioperative blood transfusions in cardiac surgical procedures 6


of allogenic transfusions could be considered inappropriate, increasing multiple risks, according to Dr. Aryeh Shander 3

15-year longer

life expectancy for non-transfused cardiac surgery patients 6


patients not transfused due to blood shortage 8

Autotransfusion, the alternative to allogenic transfusions

For all these reasons, since 2010, health authorities or public health organizations have been recommending to limit the transfusion of donor blood and to prefer alternatives such as autotransfusion or intraoperative cell salvage. 4,7

Since 2010, the WHO and Patient Blood Management societies have been promoting the use of autotransfusion, both in patient interest and to reduce healthcare costs.

Over the past 10 years, many studies have documented sharp decreases in healthcare costs when applying these guidelines.

Autotransfusion or IntraOperative Cell Salvage (IOCS)

Intraoperative autotransfusion aims to collect blood lost by the patient during hemorrhagic surgery to treat the blood and retransfuse it instead of, or in addition to, donor blood (allogenic) transfusion.

Autotransfusion is recommended for hemorrhagic or high-risk hemorrhagic surgeries, such as cardiac, vascular, trauma, orthopedic, kidney or liver transplants and neurosurgery.

However, current autotransfusion systems only allow the patients’ red blood cell recovery. This is an important limitation, as it means that platelets from donors are still needed if bleeding is massive.