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To analyse the results of a pre-deposit autologous transfusion programme in pregnant women on their third period of pregnancy. Fifty donor/pregnant women were included in the study. They were in the third trimester of their pregnancy and had risk of requiring transfusion during or after surgery. Haemoglobin above 11 g/dL and haematocrit above 34% were required in each case. Phlebotomy was performed at one-week intervals, iron and folate being supplied. Constants such as foetal heart frequency were evaluated, the programme being interrupted in case of foetal bradycardia. Apart from weight, Apgar and Silverman scores were applied to each newborn. Cephalopelvic disproportion was the commonest obstetric indication, 26 cases (52%). For autologous blood transfusion, rare blood groups, 12 cases (24%), followed by intra- or post-operative bleeding risk, 10 cases (20%) and being Jehovah's Witnesses, 9 cases (18%), were the major indications. Ninety-four blood units were drawn, 34 of them being used. The remaining 60 units were used for homologous transfusion. No complications developed during phlebotomy and the neonatal determinations showed no significant anomalies. (1) Autologous blood transfusion with pre-deposit in the third trimester of pregnancy is a safe and effective way of collecting blood. (2) Its indication is not reduced to rare blood groups. (3) The procedure seems to be safe for both the mother and the newborn.

Dr. Majluf Abraham Salvador

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