What is Blood Transfusion? Everything You Need to Know!
Blood transfusions are a standard medical procedure that can be life-saving. A blood transfusion is when a patient receives blood from another person. Blood transfusions are used frequently in surgery, trauma, and medical emergencies to replace lost blood or correct a blood deficiency.
If you or someone you know has been given a blood transfusion, there are certain things you need to know about the risks involved. Following is an explanation of what you should know about blood transfusions and your rights as a patient.
What is the Purpose of a Blood Transfusion?
Blood transfusions are used to treat a variety of conditions, including infections, bleeding, blood loss, and hemophilia. Blood transfusions are often used in emergencies, such as following surgery where blood loss has been significant. Blood transfusion is also used to treat patients with blood disorders, such as anemia, or patients undergoing treatment for cancers, such as leukemia. There are three types of blood transfusions.
Autologous transfusion occurs when a patient receives blood, usually collected and stored in advance, for a specific medical procedure. Allogeneic transfusion is when blood is donated by another person and given to a patient. This is the most common type of transfusion. Immunologic transfusion is when blood from a human donor is given to someone diagnosed with a blood-borne disease, such as hepatitis B or C.
What are the Risks Associated with Blood Transfusions?
Blood transfusions pose several risks, including transmitting blood-borne diseases or infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Malaria, or other diseases. While modern blood screening and testing methods have greatly reduced the risk of contracting blood-borne diseases, there is still a small chance of contracting blood-borne diseases from a blood transfusion.
There are also risks associated with allergic reactions to blood transfusions. Blood types are also important, as patients with rare blood types may not be able to find a donor during an emergency. Blood stored for an extended period may also have lower efficacy.
Blood Transfusion Procedure
Before a blood transfusion, the patient’s blood is tested to determine the blood type and screen for any diseases or infections that might be present in the blood. The patient’s name, age, race, and blood type are recorded on a blood transfusion record and given to the person administering the blood transfusion.
The patient’s blood pressure and temperature are also monitored. The blood transfusion is administered either through an intravenous or intraosseous line. The administering staff monitors blood transfusion reactions. The transfusion equipment and any used needles are disposed of following the procedure.
Before a Blood Transfusion
Before receiving a blood transfusion, it is important to let the administering physician know about any allergies you have. Blood transfusions usually happen in a hospital setting and may be needed for surgery, an accident, or if you have a medical condition.
Make sure you talk to the doctor or nurse about your medical history, any allergies, and any medications you are taking. You have the right to refuse a blood transfusion if your doctor has recommended it.
After a Blood Transfusion
After a blood transfusion, you may experience a reaction or side effects, including feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or faint. You may experience headaches, nausea, or vomiting. Some people may experience a rash or fever. You may also experience a drop in blood pressure or heart rate.
If any of these symptoms occur or you feel something else is wrong, you should immediately inform the administering staff. It is important to stay hydrated after a blood transfusion, especially if administered through an intravenous line.
Conclusion: Reasons of Blood Transfusion
Blood transfusions are a common medical procedure that can be life-saving. However, they also carry certain risks, including transmitting blood-borne diseases or infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Malaria, or other diseases. It is important to make sure you talk to the doctor or nurse about your medical history, any allergies, and any medications you are taking before receiving a blood transfusion.