Blood Transfusion

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blood transfusion is very common. In the United States, more than 40,000 units of blood are transfused every day. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about blood transfusion in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

When a person is severely anemic, giving that person a blood transfusion may be necessary and can be lifesaving.

In addition to red blood cells, other components are available for transfusion. These include platelets, freshly frozen plasma, cryoprecipitate and specific clotting factors.

Platelets and clotting factors may be required to treat persons who have bleeding disorders from a genetic condition or an acute or critical illness.

The most serious risk during and after blood transfusion is a hemolytic transfusion reaction. This occurs when the blood given to a person is incompatible with their own blood type.

Other risks include:

Fever and chills may occur while a person is receiving donated blood.

Infectious diseasesBecause of modern testing techniques, the risk of contracting these diseases from a blood transfusion is extremely low but not zero.

Blood transfusions may be related to an increased risk of immune suppression.

It is important to balance the risks and benefits of blood transfusion for each individual patient and situation.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.