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A simple technique for autotransfusion has been developed and used in the successful resuscitation of dogs suffering severe trauma and /or hemorrhage. The purpose of this abstract is three-fold: 1) Describe the criteria used in case selection; 2) Describe the method used; and 3) Describe the results of its use in a limited number of cases.

Case Selection: The criteria used were the following: 1. Ongoing significant hemorrhage or severe hemorrhage noted in a body cavity where the blood could be collected; 2. Acute hemorrhage amounts deemed to be life-threatening (>40% calculated blood volume [88 ml/kg]); 3. Where other choices (fresh or stored homologus blood, Oxyglobin) in amounts needed were not possible.

Method: Blood was aspirated into a suction canister using a Pool or Yankauer suction tip, with the tip placed under the pool (s) of blood to eliminate as many bubbles in the collection process as possible. If the canister was not sterilized it was scrubbed with a surgical prep solution and then rinsed with tap water prior to blood collection. The blood in the canister was poured into a wide opening in a hanging empty plastic intravenous fluid bag with a blood administration set inserted. The blood was intravenously administered by gravity drip as needed. No attempt was made to use any anticoagulant. Amounts of blood given, clinical responses, and complications were recorded.

Results: The procedure was used in 12 dogs: 5 abdominal hemorrhage, 3 thoracic hemorrhage, 2 hemorrhage from both abdomen and chest, 2 vertebral vein hemorrhage. All blood administered was given during the operation or within 2 hours. Amounts transfused ranged from 30 to 120 ml/kg (body weight [mean 48 ml/kg]). No animals died acutely from signs thought to be associated with the transfusion of this blood. Those cases surviving to discharge were 4 abdominal, 2 thoracic, 1 combined, and 1 vertebral vein. There were no infections attributed to the autotransfusion. It is concluded that this technique can be recommended and may be considered life-saving in selected cases.