A blood transfusion is typically an easy procedure in which an individual receives blood through an intravenous line or an IV.
What is it?
A blood transfusion is a routine procedure that can be used in the event of excessive blood loss or disease. During a blood transfusion, donor blood is added to the blood already in the body. It typically takes 1-4 hours. There are several reasons a one might need a transfusion, including blood loss, disease, or low blood count.
What should I do to prepare?
Before a transfusion, an individual’s blood will be tested to determine the blood type. Blood can be type A, B, AB or O and has a positive or negative rhesus factor associated with it. Pending results of the blood typing test, blood that can be accepted by the individual without clotting is selected for the transfusion.
What happens during the process?
An intravenous line (IV) is inserted in the arm of an individual. Donor blood is given to the person through this IV. Patients can receive whole blood, containing plasma and platelets, or they can receive specific components of blood through this method. The process can take a few hours. However, it is expedited in the event of trauma or excessive blood loss.
What are the risks and potential complications?
Blood transfusions can pose a few risks and complications including allergic reaction to the transfusion (hives and itching), low blood pressure, and nausea.
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