Why More Surgeons Are Using Autotransfusion at Ambulatory Surgery Centers

More spinal and hip surgeries are being conducted at ASCs, likely because rates of infection are lower at outpatient facilities and procedures cost up to 50% less at ASCs than at hospitals. Now, autotransfusion is becoming a popular choice in those settings due to additional cost savings and the reduced risk of complications that it offers.

Advantages of Autotransfusion at ASCs

The use of autotransfusion is continuing to increase at ASCs because it is readily available, more cost effective and safer than allogeneic blood transfusions. Here’s why more surgeons are choosing cell saver technology:

Readily Available 

As more complex procedures move to ASCs, the need for blood and blood products, alo increases. In order to provide blood to patients ASCs need  to either maintain a blood bank, partner with a facility and wait for a transfer of blood in the event they need it or use Autotransfusion. Blood banks are costly and require heavy regulatory oversight, making them less than ideal for ASC’s. When partnering with another facility, several factors including availability- since the patient would not have been typed and crossed, O negative blood must be acquired; acquisition time- if a patient emergently needs blood, not having blood could lead to adverse events; cost- in addition to the normal cost of allogeneic blood, is the cost of a secondary acquisition.

Lower Cost

The cost of a traditional allogeneic blood transfusion can vary widely, from $300 per unit of blood to $3,000 or more with storage and transport expenses, most transfusions use three pints, leading to a cost of $900 to $9000 or more. In addition to the acquisition cost, donor blood has to be pre-screened for type, antibodies, and crossmatching. Autotransfusion  uses the patient’s own blood, so pre-screening is not required.. 

Reduced Risk of Complications

When autologous blood is used, there is not a risk of transmitted diseases and there is a reduced risk of infection. Donated blood taxes the patient’s immune system, resulting in higher rates of illness and mortality, longer hospital stays, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), and more readmissions. It’s safer for a patient to receive their own blood, which improves their recovery time and leaves them less susceptible to disease.

Better Oxygen Transfer

With autotransfusion, the patient’s blood cells remain fresh and are more effective at transferring oxygen throughout the body. Donor blood that has been stored for long periods can lose its fluidity, causing depressed respiratory function and potentially acidosis. Reduced oxygen and lack of fluidity can also create immune system problems, making infection more likely. Autotransfusion reduces excess free hemoglobin, easing the burden on the immune system and the kidneys.

Interested in Autotransfusion for Your Procedures?

Autotransfusion continues to grow in the ASC market due to improved patient outcomes, cost savings and availability. The demand for autotransfusion devices is expected to grow by over $100 million within the next seven years. If you  would like to start utilizing autotransfusion services for your procedures, contact SpecialtyCare today. We have trained specialists who can provide autotransfusion and help you reduce costs and make surgery safer for your patients.