Risks and Complications. Some of the most common complications in blood transfusions are listed below.
Allergic Reactions Some people have allergic reactions to blood received during a transfusion, even when given the right blood type. Fever Developing a fever after a transfusion is not serious.
Blood-borne Infections All donated blood is screened and tested for potential viruses, bacteria, and parasites. All donated blood is thoroughly tested for HIV. There is a 1 in 2 million chance that donated blood will not only carry HIV but also infect a transfusion recipient. Hepatitis B and C. The odds of catching hepatitis B from donated blood is about 1 in , The risk with hepatitis C is 1 in 1.
Most blood transfusions go very smoothly. Some infectious agents, such as HIV, can survive in blood and infect the person receiving the blood transfusion. To keep blood safe, blood banks carefully screen donated blood. The risk of catching a virus from a blood transfusion is low. Sometimes it is possible to have a transfusion of your own blood.
During surgery, you may need a blood transfusion because of blood loss. If you are having a surgery that you're able to schedule months in advance, your doctor may ask whether you would like to use your own blood, instead of donated blood. If so, you will need to have blood drawn one or more times before the surgery. A blood bank will store your blood for your use. Blood Transfusion and Donation. Learn More Related Issues Specifics. Blood is usually given through a plastic tube inserted into a vein in your arm.
Depending on how much blood is needed, the whole procedure can take a significant length of time.
Blood donors are unpaid volunteers. They're carefully selected and tested to make sure the blood they donate is as safe as possible. In the UK and other Western countries, there are strict regulations regarding blood donations and blood transfusions. Before making a blood donation, the potential donor is asked about their health, lifestyle and history. Compared to other everyday risks, the chances of getting an infection from a blood transfusion is very low.
You must be correctly identified to make sure you get the right blood transfusion. Wearing an identification band with your correct details is essential. You will be asked to state your full name and date of birth, and the details on your identification band will be checked before each bag of blood is given. You will be monitored closely during your transfusion.
When a donor has given blood, special equipment is used to separate the donation into different blood components, including:. There are several different types of blood transfusion.
Whether you need one depends on a number of factors. Small amounts of blood loss up to 1. The main reason for a red blood cell transfusion is to treat anaemia. Anaemia can also be caused by:. If you're told that you might need a blood transfusion, you should ask why it's necessary and whether there are alternative treatments.
You have the right to refuse a blood transfusion, but you need to fully understand the outcome of this before doing so. Some medical treatments or operations can't be safely carried out without a blood transfusion. A platelet transfusion is used to treat people who have very low levels of platelet cells in their blood. This is known as thrombocytopenia. If you have thrombocytopenia, you're at risk of excessive bleeding, either through a minor accident, cut or graze, or as a result of surgery or dental work. Plasma is the fluid in the blood containing proteins that help the blood to clot.
A transfusion of plasma may be needed if there's severe bleeding, such as after surgery, trauma or childbirth. A transfusion may also be needed in conditions such as liver disease that affect the production of clotting proteins. Granulocytes are a type of white blood cell that help to fight infection. Granulocyte transfusions aren't commonly used, but may be needed if there's a severe infection that's not responding to antibiotics after chemotherapy or bone marrow transplantation.
Surgeons always try to carry out surgery to minimise the amount of blood lost. In recent years, this has become easier, due to the increasing use of keyhole surgery laparoscopic surgery , where only small cuts are made in the body.
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However, some types of surgical operations and procedures have a higher risk of blood loss; therefore, a blood transfusion is more likely to be needed. It may be possible to use a procedure called intra-operative cell salvage.
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It collects your blood that's lost during the surgery, and it can be returned back to you. If you're going to receive a blood transfusion as part of a planned course of treatment, the doctor, nurse or midwife planning your transfusion will usually obtain your informed consent for the procedure. In obtaining consent , they should:. There may be circumstances when it's not possible to obtain consent before a transfusion — for example, if someone is unconscious after a major accident.
Blood transfusion - Tests & treatments | NHS inform
A sample of your blood will be taken before the transfusion to check that the blood you receive is compatible with your own blood. Blood is usually given through a tiny plastic tube called a cannula, which is inserted into a vein in your arm. The cannula is connected to a drip and the blood runs through the drip into your arm. Depending on the underlying condition and the type of other treatment needed, some patients may have a larger tube, which is known as a central line, inserted into a vein in their chest.
Alternatively, a peripherally inserted central catheter PICC line may be inserted in the crook of the arm. There may be some discomfort when the tube is put into the vein, but you shouldn't feel anything during the transfusion. You'll be observed at regular intervals, but if you start to feel unwell during or shortly after your transfusion, you should tell a member of staff immediately.