Question: Can I donate my own blood before bypass surgery, and what are the chances that I will need a blood transfusion?
Answer: Anytime we do heart surgery, bleeding is one of the risks; it's unusual. We reuse the patients own blood during the operations. We recycle it in a sense.
We don't typically, for this kind of operation, have patients donate their own blood, the reason being that if you donate your own blood, it's a stress on the heart. We don't want to precipitate a heart attack in someone that's waiting.
But in this patient group, probably about 30 to 50 percent would need a transfusion; maybe 50 percent or more would not. It depends on the blood count going into the surgery.