Blood collected from a patient for retransfusion at a later time into that same individual is called "autologous blood." When the guidelines established by the American Association of Blood Banks are followed, autologous blood is the safest type of blood for transfusion. It also decreases the demand for banked blood and eliminates the risk of infection and alloimmunization from a transfusion. Autologous transfusions are becoming widely available; since 1974 the number of institutions providing autologous transfusion programs has increased more than fourfold. The Council on Scientific Affairs endorses the use of autologous blood transfusions.