Your doctor will talk with you about why you or your child need a blood transfusion. Common reasons you may need a blood transfusion are if you:
You or your child will only get the part of the blood that you need. The different parts of blood that can be transfused are:
Red Blood Cells
Blood products made from plasma
Plasma can be used to make other blood products. These are used for special reasons to treat certain illnesses (such as factors for hemophilia) or help fight infections (such as immunoglobulins).
Getting blood always has some risk. Your healthcare provider will explain the risks of transfusion specific to you or your child.
The blood supply in Canada is one of the safest in the world. The risk of getting diseases for each unit of blood is very low.
Sometimes you can react to a blood product transfusion. This is called a transfusion reaction.
To watch for this, your vitals (blood pressure, heart rate, breathing) will be checked often during the transfusion. If you or your child has ever had a reaction with a transfusion before, tell your healthcare team.
Some types of reactions are:
Your healthcare provider will explain what other options may be appropriate for you or your child.
If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your healthcare provider.
Current as of: April 7, 2021
Author: Transfusion Medicine Safety Program, Alberta Health Services
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