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Blood donation before surgery

Your surgeon will be very careful during surgery to limit the amount of blood you lose. But blood may continue to ooze from tissues that were cut, even after the operation is over. To replace this blood, you may be given a blood transfusion. This is a safe and common procedure, during which you receive blood through an intravenous (IV) line placed in one of your blood vessels.

Several sources of blood are described here.


Hsu YMS, Ness PM, Cushing MM. Principles of red blood cell transfusion. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 111.

Miller RD. Blood therapy. In: Pardo MC, Miller RD, eds. Basics of Anesthesia. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 24.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration website. Blood and blood products. www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/blood-blood-products. Updated March 28, 2019. Accessed September 4, 2019.

Review Date 7/7/2019

Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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