Successful implementation of a liver transplantation program is dependent on extensive blood bank support. Careful planning, organization, and coordination of the blood bank and other clinical services are necessary. In our first 100 orthotopic liver transplantations, our median intraoperative erythrocyte use was 12.6 units, and 30% of the erythrocytes were provided by intraoperative cell salvage. Thus, the need for homologous blood and the number of donors to whom recipients were exposed were reduced. Use of intraoperative cell salvage and expansion of our erythrocyte inventory through the use of AS-1 preservative helped us meet the demands of the liver transplant program without compromising the availability of blood products for all other surgical and medical patients.
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