To the Editor.—I write to comment on the article "Autotransfusion in Three Variations" by Couch et al (Arch Surg 108:121, 1974). The authors note that preoperative blood can be collected and stored without ill effects if orally administered iron supplements are given daily.
I urge the use of preoperative blood collection as a routine prior to elective surgery. This would reduce the incidence of transfusion hepatitis in two ways: (1) If the patient who gave the blood required transfusion, his own blood would be used. (2) If the patient did not require transfusion, his blood could be put in the blood bank and used for other patients. This blood would not likely transmit hepatitis since patients who are to undergo elective surgery should have had adequate investigation to rule out hepatitis. Moreover, in the postoperative period the patient can easily be observed to determine if he has developed hepatitis