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J Natl Med Assoc. 1997 Jun;89(6):381-4.

Autologous blood collection in anemic patients using low-dose erythropoietin therapy.

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  • 1St Joseph's Hospital, Dickinson, North Dakota, USA.


Autologous donation of blood for use during elective surgery is being recommended and used more frequently. Autologous donation and transfusion represent the safest way to handle elective surgical blood requirements because they eliminate the risk of transfusion-transmitted disease and alloimmunization, and significantly reduce the other risks associated with homologous transfusion. Many individuals, particularly women and the elderly, do not have sufficient initial hemoglobin concentration or hemopoietic reserve to effectively use autologous donation. Use of standard-dose recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) (600 units/kg) to mitigate these limitations is costly. The optimal dose, interval, and route of administration for rHuEPO therapy has yet to be perfected. This article describes a program using low-dose (< 100 units/kg) rHuEPO and also discusses the effectiveness, cost savings, and clinical indications for the use of low-dose rHuEPO.

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