Forty-eight women in the third trimester of pregnancy who requested autologous blood donations were enrolled in an experimental protocol to evaluate the safety of this procedure. Risk factors suggesting the possible need for postpartum transfusion were present in 17 women, including previous history of transfusion, scheduled cesarean section, placenta previa, and previous pregnancy-induced hypertension. Nine women were unable to meet donation criteria. Thirty-nine participants donated one to three units each. There was one vasovagal reaction among 61 donations. Fetal monitoring performed during each donation to assess cardiovascular and neurologic effects of maternal hypovolemia revealed no abnormalities. Three women with symptomatic postpartum anemias were transfused with autologous blood; two of these patients were identified antepartum as being at risk for possible transfusion. Autologous donation during pregnancy was safe for both mother and fetus. However, the likelihood of postpartum transfusion, while possibly predictable based on antepartum history, was low in this study.
© 1987 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists