A retrospective audit was conducted to determine the safety, efficacy and patient satisfaction related to a preoperative autologous blood donation program for children and teenagers undergoing corrective surgery for scoliosis. Forty-five of the 77 patients donated the requested amount of blood. These 45 compliant patients had been requested to donate fewer units of blood than noncompliant patients (mean 4.0 vs 4.6 respectively, P = 0.02). Twelve patients required allogeneic blood transfusion. Two patients had surgery delayed making the collected autologous blood unavailable. The extent of the operation was associated with the need for allogeneic blood transfusion. Six and a half percent of all donated units of blood were discarded. No major complications were reported. Overall, 93% of patients were satisfied with the program. With careful patient selection, good inter-departmental coordination and teamwork, preoperative autologous blood donation in paediatric patients undergoing extensive corrective surgery for scoliosis is safe and effective.