Close

We use cookies to give you the best possible online experience. If you continue, we'll assume you are happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website. See our cookie policy for more information on cookies and how to manage them.

Treatment: Blood Transfusion

A blood transfusion is carried out to treat severe anaemia or to replace blood lost by bleeding. It is performed in hospital, sometimes on a day patient basis. The amount of blood required depends on the severity of the condition. Each bag of blood is usually given over a 3–4 hour period, but it can be given more quickly if necessary. A blood sample is taken first to check that your blood is compatible with blood taken from donors (a process called cross-matching). The donor blood is screened for infectious organisms such as HIV and the hepatitis viruses and is stored in blood banks. Sometimes only a particular component of blood is transfused, such as red blood cells or platelets.

Having a transfusion

A nurse will regularly measure your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature while the blood transfusion is given directly into a vein in your arm.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

Back to top

Search the
Medical Encyclopedia

Related Topics

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.