To report maternal outcomes in a cohort of women who received autotransfusion of vaginally shed blood and to describe the feasibility of blood collection and cell salvage processing at the time of vaginal hemorrhage.
Study Design and Methods
We conducted a retrospective case series of patients who received autotransfusion of vaginally shed blood at the time of obstetric hemorrhage from January 2014 to August 2020. Maternal data and cell salvage utilization characteristics were abstracted from the electronic medical record.
Sixty-four cases were identified in which autotransfusion of vaginally shed blood occurred during an obstetric hemorrhage. Median quantitative blood loss was 2175 ml (interquartile range 1500–2250 ml) with 89% of cases having a blood loss greater than 1000 ml. Patients on average received approximately 1.3 units of autologous blood product (384 ml, interquartile range 244–520 ml) and no direct adverse events were observed during transfusion. We observed heterogeneity in autologous blood volume across all values of quantitative blood loss. The need for allogenic blood transfusion was common and occurred in 72% of all cases (N = 46). There were no documented cases of maternal sepsis or severe infectious morbidity.
In 64 cases where autotransfusion of vaginally shed blood occurred, autotransfusion was well tolerated. Heterogeneity in autologous blood volume collection likely represents the lack of standardized protocols for blood collection in the delivery room. Autotransfusion of vaginally shed blood is a feasible and reasonable technique to employ during severe obstetric hemorrhage.