Health and Fitness

What Is Blood Transfusion and Who Needs It?

What is a Blood Transfusion?

A blood transfusion is a standard medical procedure in which healthy blood is given to a person through an intravenous (IV) line that has been inserted in one of your blood vessels. 

Blood transmits oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body. Blood transfusions replace the blood lost through injury or surgery or provide it if your body is not producing blood properly.

What are the Steps for Blood Transfusion?

After a doctor home visit, the doctor determines if a person needs a blood transfusion. They will test the patients’ blood to ensure that their blood matches their blood type. 

A small needle is used to insert an IV pipe into one of the blood vessels. Through this pipe, the patient receives healthy blood. Blood transfusions typically take 1 to 4 hours to finish, and the patient will be monitored during and after the procedure.

Types of Blood Transfusion?

Most of the blood used for transfusions comes from blood donations provided by volunteer blood donors. A person can also have their own blood collected and stored a few weeks before surgery if needed. Four types of blood products can be provided through blood transfusions: red blood cells, platelets, whole blood, and plasma.  

  • Red Blood Cell Transfusions

Patients suffering from iron deficiency or anaemia, a condition where the body does not have enough red blood cells, may get a red blood cell transfusion. This type of transfusion increases a patient’s iron and haemoglobin levels while increasing the amount of oxygen in the body. 

  • Platelet Transfusions

Platelets are a component of blood that prevents the body from bleeding. Patients who have diseases that prevent the body from producing enough platelets have to get frequent transfusions to stay healthy. Other patients may include those who have leukaemia or different types of cancer. These patients often have lower platelet counts due to chemotherapy treatments. 

  • Plasma Transfusion

Plasma is the liquid part of the blood that contains necessary proteins and other substances essential to one’s overall health. Transfusions are given to patients with severe infections, liver failure, and serious burns. 

  • Whole blood transfusion

A person may get a whole blood transfusion if they have undergone severe traumatic bleeding due to various factors such as accidents, surgeries or injuries and require red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. 

Why are blood transfusions necessary?

Blood transfusions are essential when the body lacks enough blood to function correctly. For example, a person may require a blood transfusion if they have undergone a severe injury or lost blood during surgery. 

Some people need blood transfusions for specific conditions and disorders, including: 

  • Anaemia- occurs when a person’s blood does not have enough red blood cells. This can occur due to various reasons, such as low iron levels in the body, known as iron deficiency anaemia. 
  • Haemophilia: is a bleeding disorder wherein a person’s blood cannot clot properly. 
  • Cancer: occurs when cells in the body separate and spread to the surrounding tissues. 
  • Kidney disease: Kidney failure is an important cause of anaemia. A patient may need a transfusion if the blood count is low despite iron replacement. 
  • Sickle cell disease: Blood transfusion remains an important restorative intervention in patients with sickle cell disease. They help increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood and reduce the complications of vaso-occlusion. 
  • Liver disease: A plasma transfusion helps replace the proteins in your blood that help it clot, which may be needed after severe bleeding or if a patient has liver disease. 

How safe is Bood Transfusion?

Blood transfusions are usually quite safe because donated blood is carefully tested, handled, and stored. 

However, there is a slight chance that your body may have a mild to severe reaction to the donor blood. Other complications may include fever, alloimmunization, heart or lung complications, and rare but severe reactions in which donated white blood cells attack your body’s healthy tissues. 

Due to too much iron content from frequent transfusions, some people face health problems. There is also a mild chance of getting an infectious disease such as hepatitis B or C or HIV through a blood transfusion. 

Since blood transfusions are among the most common medical procedures in the nation, proper research and careful medical management make the supply of donated blood very safe.  

Home visit doctors in Chennai ensure safe and effective transfusions are done, considering all the safety standards adopted by hospitals. 

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