Medicine: Recycling Blood

Being your own donor

Though donations by Americans have picked up in the past few years, the supply of blood barely keeps up with the demand. Use of donor blood rose 76% between 1971 and 1979 and may go higher if surgery increases as the population ages.

Concerned by the blood crunch, doctors are turning to once out-of-favor methods of conserving blood during surgery.* Two techniques now making a comeback:

Intraoperative Autotransfusion. A patient's blood, shed in the course of an operation, is not discarded but instead recycled into his body. Autotransfusion has been tried occasionally since the 1800s, but the equipment used in...

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