Due to the large number of patients undergoing cardiac surgical procedures and the subsequent increase in demand for blood volume replacement, the use of autotransfusion is increasing in the postoperative setting. In a study conducted by Roche and Stengel it was estimated that the country's blood resources could be depleted by these surgical procedures. The use of autotransfusion offers a viable solution for this problem. Studies suggest that with autotransfusion, bank blood requirements may decrease as much as 50 percent. The ready availability and economic advantages associated with autotransfusion may also ensure continued use of systems of this type. It has been the authors' experience thus far that both systems presented have been safe and effective when used in postoperative management of the cardiac surgical patient.

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