Your doctor will tell you why your baby needs a blood transfusion. Sometimes babies need a blood transfusion because they have anemia (less red blood cells than normal).
Your baby will only get the part of the blood that is needed. The different parts of blood that can be transfused are:
Red Blood Cells
Sometimes your baby can have a reaction to a blood transfusion. Your baby will be checked (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, breathing) often during the transfusion. Some kinds of reactions are:
Directed Donation is when someone donates blood to be given to a specific person (e.g., a parent donating blood for a child under the age of 18 is the only time this is done in Canada). Directed donation is not always possible, and is not considered safer than regular blood donations. Someone that wants to donate blood for a baby must meet the same standards as other blood donors. Your doctor can help you decide if a directed donation is appropriate.
If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your doctor (or whoever ordered your blood component).
Current as of: June 15, 2018
Author: Transfusion Medicine Safety Program, Alberta Health Services
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