Reasons for Procedure
- Severe reactions due to allergies, volume overload, iron accumulation, and the mismatching of blood types. Hospitals have several steps to make sure blood is correctly matched.
- Certain infections, such as hepatitis or HIV, can be passed on during blood transfusions. There are many steps and tests that are done to thoroughly check donated blood before anyone is allowed to receive it.
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- You will have a blood test to determine your specific blood type. The donor blood will be carefully matched to your blood type.
- You may also be given a physical exam. Your vital signs, including your temperature, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure, will be recorded.
- You may be given Tylenol and Benadryl before you receive a transfusion. These drugs will help reduce any minor allergic reactions.
Description of the Procedure
|Common IV Placement|
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How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
- You will be monitored closely.
- Your doctor may give you specific instructions based on your overall condition.
- Your doctor may order blood tests to determine how effective the transfusion was.
Call Your Doctor
- New rash, hives, or itching
- Swelling in legs, feet, hands, arms, or face
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- New onset of pain, especially in the back or chest
- Shortness of breath, wheezing
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge where the needle was inserted
American Association of Blood Banks http://www.aabb.org
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov
Mt. Sinai Hospital Toronto http://www.mtsinai.on.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Hladik et al. Transmission of human herpesvirus 8 by blood transfusion. N Engl J Med. 2006 Sep 28;355(13):1331-1338.
Posthouwer D. The natural history of childhood-acquired hepatitis C infection in patients with inherited bleeding disorders. Transfusion. 2006;46(8):1360-1366.
What is a blood transfusion? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/bt/. Updated January 30, 2012. Accessed March 26, 2013.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 03/2014 -
- Update Date: 05/01/2014 -