Blood Transfusion Precautions: What You Need To Know About Blood Transfusions?
The risks of blood transfusion are very high, especially if you have not been screened properly. The risk of getting a life threatening disease or death from blood transfusion is very low, but it still exists. There are many things you need to do before having any type of blood transfusion. These include screening tests, pre-transfusion counseling, post-transfusion care, and follow up care. In case something goes wrong with the transfusion, you need to know what to do and who to talk to.
Some people go to the hospital for any medical condition and they are immediately asked whether they want to take blood. This is because doctors consider blood transfusion as a treatment just like giving birth, appendix removal or gallbladder surgery.
It has risks and benefits that need to be considered before going ahead.
Blood transfusion risks are more common in low income countries because of the poor quality of blood, but even in these countries there is a rise in awareness. It is still possible to get blood transfusions in some of these countries but you will need to be very careful.
When Is Blood Transfusion Necessary?
Blood transfusions are necessary in many conditions including blood loss due to injury or surgery. They can also be necessary in cancer treatment, kidney dialysis and infection. If the body loses more blood than it can produce, a blood transfusion is necessary to prevent death.
There are several types of blood transfusions: whole blood, packed red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Packed red blood cells are necessary when the patient has lost blood and needs to replace it quickly.
Plasma can be given alone or with cryoprecipitate, a component of plasma that can help with clotting. Plasma can be given in patients who have an immune condition, such as HIV or have had a transfusion in the last four weeks. Platelets can be given when the patient has bleeding disorders or cancer.
In most cases, you can give blood that is a perfect match and does not need to be tested. This is because any shortfall can be made up with your own blood.
However, if you need a very precise amount of a particular component, such as platelets or plasma, a perfect match is not always necessary. In this case, your blood can be given after laboratory testing to see what is missing or in short supply.
How Is Blood Transfusion Done?
Blood transfusion is very safe and can save many lives. You have to be careful about who you get blood from though. If the person who is giving blood is sick, there is a risk that you will also become sick. You can also get an infectious disease from them if their blood has not been tested properly.
Usually, blood is given through an IV. If the blood is not a perfect match, your body may attack it as a foreign substance.
This is called transfusion reaction. It can range from mild itching and hives to fever, chills, shock and death. If the blood is a good match, these risks are very low but can still occur.
You will need to stay in hospital for several hours after a transfusion. This is to make sure you do not have a severe reaction to the blood.
You will also need to return to the hospital regularly for more transfusions, even if you are feeling better. Your iron deficiency will probably remain even if your hemoglobin levels are normal and this can lead to heart failure, aplastic anemia and other health problems.
If you do not get regular transfusions, you will not be able to perform day-to-day activities and will become increasingly weak.
Blood and the Law
In some countries, it is illegal to sell your blood. However, in most countries you can donate your blood to a blood bank or give it to a friend or family member.
There are some risks with these methods too though.
You could contract an infection from the needle and pass it on to the person you are giving blood too. You may also contract a disease from the person you are giving blood too if their blood is not thoroughly tested.
You can also receive a fake check or become the victim of fraud. This can happen if you meet someone in a hotel room who promises you a lot of money in exchange for a pint or more of blood.
These scammers can be hard to track down and are rarely caught. They take your blood, pay you a small amount of money as a “donation” then sell the rest to people on the black market.
However, if you are careful about who you give blood too and only use proper, sterile equipment this is very unlikely to happen to you.
Giving blood is very important and a simple act of kindness. It can help save lives and keep people healthy.
If you are able, please look into becoming a blood donor today.
Give blood, give life.
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