Utilization patterns of frozen autologous red blood cells. Experience in a referral center and a community hospital

L. DePalma, R. Palmer, S. F. Leitman, W. D. Dolan, H. G. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The risks of homologous blood transfusion have motivated some blood centers and private industry to consider providing long-term storage of frozen, autologous red blood cells as a service. The usefulness of this practice is unknown. We performed a retrospective analysis of frozen autologous red blood cell use in two hospitals. Records were available for 21- and 9-year intervals, respectively. A total of 104 autologous units were cryopreserved for 41 patients. Fifteen (37%) of 41 patients received one or more of their stored units of red blood cells. Twenty-two patients had autologous units frozen in anticipation of elective surgery; 11 (50%) of these 22 patients received some or all of their stored units. Sixteen patients had autologous units stored because of potential transfusion problems related to rare blood types or to the presence of multiple blood cell alloantibodies, and another 3 patients had units frozen simply at their personal request. Only 4 (21%) of these latter 19 patients who donated without a specific planned use eventually received their frozen autologous red blood cells. Long-term autologous frozen red blood cell storage can improve medical management of some patients with anticipated surgical procedures or unusual requirements for transfusion. However, our study suggests that most autologous units frozen without specific planned use will not be transfused.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-518
Number of pages3
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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