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Am J Clin Pathol. 2007 Jul;128(1):135-42.

Legal and ethical considerations in the transfusion of infected or untested autologous blood.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and Veterans Affairs Medical Center, OK, USA.


Autologous blood transfusion grew in popularity in response to the recognition of transfusion-transmitted HIV and a lack of effective screening. Laboratory screening and donor deferrals have decreased the need for autologous transfusion. The issue of banking blood that has not been tested or has been tested and found positive for serious infectious diseases raises ethical and legal issues that must be addressed by transfusion services, transfusion committees, physicians, and administrators. This article provides a summary of pertinent federal and state laws regarding autologous blood transfusion and a framework to assess the ethical implications of various strategies.

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