Shawn P. Catmull and John V. Ashurst
Autotransfusion has not always been a safe procedure. The first known documented procedure of autotransfusion was performed in 1818 by Dr. James Blundell. Dr. Blundell became frustrated by the loss of a patient due to a uterine hemorrhage. Blood transfusions had been attempted for many years before Dr. Blundell, but he was the first to attempt autotransfusion from experimentation with canine specimens. Later he would try his procedure on humans but not without risk. The estimated mortality rate from his procedures was approximately 75%. However, due to modern advancements in filtration and sterile technique, autotransfusion is widely accepted as a relatively safe procedure. This activity reviews the indications and contraindications of autotransfusion and highlights the role of the interprofessional team in managing patients who need autotransfusions.