Blood Loss Management. During every knee replacement surgery, there
is a certain amount of blood loss.
There are several approaches to address the management
of this blood loss that you should discuss with your orthopaedic
surgeon, including blood transfusions (self donated or donated
by another individual) or PROCRIT treatment.
Transfusion. Many patients who have a knee replacement will require blood transfusion.
This can be achieved by transfusing blood that you
have donated prior to your surgery or by receiving blood from
Self Donation. If you are donating
blood for your surgery, you will be asked to donate 1 to 2
units of your own blood within 35 days prior to your surgery
date. This will involve scheduling an appointment
with the blood bank of the hospital, or if necessary, a blood
donation facility recommended by your insurance carrier or
one closer to where you live (for out-of -state patients)
Only one unit of blood can be donated at a time, so you may
need to come in for two visits.
The blood is then stored until your operation.
If you're coming a long way, arrangements can be made to have you
give blood locally and have it transported here for your surgery. Please be assured that blood that you give will
be given back to you, if needed.
Donor Blood. If you are unable to donate blood,
for whatever reason, donor blood may be used in your case,
if necessary. Donor
blood can be donated by family or friends and directed to
you or it can be obtained from the national blood supply.
People have expressed some concern about blood transfusion
because of the risk of transmitting diseases.
Donor blood is carefully screened for communicable
diseases. With the
new technology, the risk of hepatitis and HIV infection is
extremely low. To our
knowledge, disease transmission through use of donated blood
has never occurred in any of our patients.
However, there is no question that your own blood is
the safest. Therefore,
if you are able, we recommend that you donate blood for your
approach to blood loss management is to treat patients with
- a medication that works to increase the red blood cell supply
before surgery. If
you are a candidate for Procrit treatment, your blood will
be tested to determine its hemoglobin (this is a measure of
how much of your blood is made up of blood cells). If your hemoglobin is between 10 and 13 (g/dL), you can receive Procrit® treatment. This involves
four injections (subcutaneous-under the skin) in once weekly
doses (21, 14, and 4 days before surgery) plus a fourth dose
on the day of surgery. You
will be asked to take iron supplements during this time.
If you are interested in more information about Procrit®, please click here.