Blood Transfusion

Blood Transfusion: Overview

A blood transfusion involves receiving donated blood or blood products intravenously.  Blood transfusions are most commonly used in situations where the patient has suffered significant blood loss, and to treat severe anemia or blood disorders.

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Donated blood is often separated into its components:

  • Red blood cells: These transport oxygen to where it is needed, and are used to treat anemia
  • White blood cells: Help the body to fight infection
  • Platelets: These help stop excessive bleeding
  • Plasma: This makes up the bulk of the blood volume and contains a large variety of nutrients

Function; Why it is Recommended

Each unit of blood usually takes 2-3 hours to transfer into the patient's bloodstream.  A unit of plasma or platelets generally takes 30-60 minutes.

Blood transfusions are used in a variety of situations, including:

  • Replacing lost blood after major surgery, childbirth, or a major accident
  • Treating anemia that has not responded to other treatments
  • Treating inherited blood disorders

Counter-Indicators and Warnings

Donors should be carefully selected, and the donated blood should be carefully screened for blood group, disease and pathogens.  Unfortunately this screening is not so strict in some countries, so blood transfusion carries a higher risk of acquiring diseases such as hepatitis B or C, HIV/AIDS, or syphilis.

On This Page

Blood Transfusion:

Blood Transfusion can help with the following:

Nutrients

Vitamin B12 Requirement

In very severe cases, blood transfusion may be necessary.

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