Blood transfusion

Blood Transfusion

Blood Transfusion

What is a blood transfusion?

    A blood transfusion is a frequent treatment in which donated blood or blood components are administered to you via an intravenous line (IV). A blood transfusion replenishes blood and blood components that have been depleted.

Why may I require a blood transfusion?

    A blood transfusion may be necessary to preserve your life. You may require a blood transfusion if you have lost blood due to an injury or surgery or if you have some medical issues such as:

  • Anaemia.
  • Certain types of cancer.
  • Haemophilia.
  • Sickle cell disease

Where does the blood for transfusions originate from?

    Typically, the blood originates from an anonymous donor who has given it to hospitals for use as they see fit. A blood bank stores blood until it is needed for a transfusion. However, people donate blood to help a friend or loved one in other circumstances. You may also be able to bank your blood in preparation for a planned surgery.

What is the procedure for a blood transfusion?

    Until needed, donated blood or blood components are stored in unique medical bags. Your healthcare provider attaches the required blood bag to an intravenous line composed of tubing. A needle at the end of the tube is put into one of your veins, and blood or blood components are injected into your circulatory system.

What should I expect from the transfusion?

    Your nurse will do the following before your transfusion:

  • Take your blood pressure, pulse rate, and temperature.
  • Check to see if the donor's blood type matches yours.
  • Ensure that the blood delivered is the product your doctor ordered and labelled with your name.

    Your nurse will do the following during your transfusion:

  • After 15 minutes, recheck your blood pressure and pulse.
  • After the transfusion, recheck your blood pressure and pulse.

How long does it take to have a blood transfusion?

    Various factors, including the amount of blood and components required, determine a blood transfusion's length. Most transfusions take one to three hours. Consult our healthcare practitioner at Apex Hospitals for more information on your unique requirements.


    Blood transfusions are typically considered safe; however, problems can occur. Mild to severe problems can arise during the transfusion or several days afterwards.

  • More typical symptoms include allergic responses, which can result in hives, itching, and fever.
  • Infections caused by blood: Diseases such as HIV or hepatitis B or C are exceedingly rare since blood banks screen donors and test donated blood to limit the risk of transfusion-related diseases.

Other severe responses

    These are also uncommon:

  • Acute immunological haemolytic reaction. Because the donor blood type is not a suitable match, your immune system attacks the transfused red blood cells. The injured cells discharge a chemical into your bloodstream that causes kidney damage.
  • The haemolytic reaction is delayed. This reaction happens more slowly than an acute immunological haemolytic reaction. It may take up to four weeks to see a reduction in red blood cell levels.
  • Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Transfused white blood cells attack your bone marrow in this scenario. It is usually lethal and affects persons with highly reduced immune systems, such as those undergoing treatment for leukaemia or lymphoma.

How do you prepare

    Tell your doctor if you've ever had an allergic response to a blood transfusion.

What to expect

    Blood transfusions are typically administered in a hospital, outpatient clinic, or doctor's office. The procedure usually takes one to four hours, depending on which components of the blood you receive and how much blood you require.

    Before the procedure

    In some situations, you can donate blood for yourself before elective surgery, but most transfusions use blood donated by strangers. An identification check will ensure that you get the right blood.

    During the procedure

    A needle is put into one of your blood arteries to place an intravenous (IV) line. Through the IV, donor blood in a plastic bag enters your bloodstream. The treatment usually takes one to four hours and will be performed while seated or lying down.

    A nurse will monitor you throughout the process and measure your blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate. Inform the nurse right away if you develop:

  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Chills
  • Unusual itching
  • Back or chest pain
  • A feeling of uneasiness

    After the procedure

    The IV line and needle will be withdrawn. A bruise surrounding the needle site is possible but should fade away in a few days. If you experience shortness of breath or chest or back pain in the days following a blood transfusion, contact your doctor.


    You may require more blood testing to determine how your body reacts to the donor blood and evaluate your blood count.

    Some medical disorders necessitate more than one blood transfusion.

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