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The use of cell salvage during obstetric procedures: an audit of Scotland's maternity units

Harkness, Mairi; Clark, Vicki


Mairi Harkness

Vicki Clark


Concerns about the safety and supply of donor blood mean that clinicians are increasingly looking for alternatives to allogenic blood transfusion. One such alternative is cell salvage. Theoretical concerns about the safety of giving salvaged blood to obstetric patients have so far limited its use in maternity patients, but its use in obstetrics is now growing.
To determine how many Scottish maternity units use cell salvage and what barriers anaesthetists see to its use in obstetrics.
METHODS: A survey was posted to one consultant anaesthetist at each of Scotland's 18 consultant led maternity units.
RESULTS: Two out of 18 maternity units in Scotland use cell salvage. Perceived barriers to use include lack of machine, insufficient cases and lack of familiarity with the technology. Only 4/15 anaesthetists saw safety concerns as a barrier to using the technology.
It would appear that practical issues such as staff training and maintaining familiarity with the technology are greater barriers to the use of cell salvage during obstetric procedures than concerns over safety or financial costs. Although cell salvage would appear to be safe, its use in obstetrics must be accompanied by ongoing audit and detailed data should be collected for each case.


Harkness, M., & Clark, V. (2008). The use of cell salvage during obstetric procedures: an audit of Scotland's maternity units. Scottish Medical Journal, 53, 24-27

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2008-08
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2015
Print ISSN 0036-9330
Electronic ISSN 2045-6441
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Pages 24-27
Keywords allogenic blood transfusion; cell salvage; obstetric patients;
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