An autotransfusionist, also known as a perioperative blood management technologist, is a specialized allied health professional who operates the cell saver machine during surgeries that expect significant blood loss.
The autotransfusionist is responsible for collecting shed blood from the patient during the operation, scrubs or cleans the blood of impurities, then makes it available to be reinfused into the patient. The process is commonly known as "cell-saver" and is considered far superior to the use of blood from a donor, because it reduces the possibility of infection and provides more functional cells back to the patient. Because the blood is recirculated, there is no limit to the amount of blood that can be given back to the patient.
Autotransfusionists are involved in many types of surgical procedures, including:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Liver transplantation/Liver resection
- Jehovah Witness with patient approval and expected large blood loss.
- Patient with antibodies for whom cross-matched blood is unavailable
- Pediatric spines
- Spinal fusion
- Hip Revision
- Kidney, pancreas, and small bowel transplants
- Hip replacement
- Knee replacement
- Endovascular aneurysm repair
- Thoracic aortic aneurysm
Most autotransfusionists hold a bachelor's degree and have some form of credentialed medical background ranging from:
- Anesthesia (Cer.A.T., or Cer.A.T.T.)
- Medical Technology (MLT, or MT)
- Nursing (LPN or RN)
- Perfusion (CCP)
- Respiratory Therapy (CRT or RRT)
- Surgery (CST)
Currently, the International Board of Blood Management is the governing body for certification in autotransfusion (CPBMT). The IBBM's mission is to promote education and sound scientific principles to advance the safe and competent practice of perioperative blood management.
In order to become a Certified Perioperative Blood Management Technologist (CPBMT), one must:
- Have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent
- Be practicing in the field of blood management for a minimum of one (1) year
- Complete a yearly minimum of fifty (50) autotransfusion procedures.
- American Association of Blood Banks
- American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion
- American Society of Anesthesia Technologists & Technicians
- American Society of ExtraCorporeal Technology
- International Board of Blood Management
- Australian and New Zealand College of Perfusionists
- "Our Team". Asheville Heart. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- "Cell Saver (Intraoperative Cell Salvage Machine)". University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
- "Autotransfusion". Bloodguys. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- "Certification". International Board of Blood Management. Archived from the original on 2012-02-26. Retrieved 2012-02-10.