What is a blood transfusion?
A blood transfusion is a medical procedure in which donated blood is given to you. It is a safe procedure and can be life-saving. If complications occur, they are typically mild.
Why might I need a blood transfusion?
You might need a blood transfusion if:
- you have lost a lot of blood because of surgery, childbirth or a serious accident
- you have severe anaemia (a lack of red blood cells) which cannot be treated in any other way
- you are having cancer treatment or stem cell transplants which affect your blood cell count
What are the different types of blood transfusion?
Donated blood can be split into different parts. You will be given the part or parts of the blood your body needs. This could be:
- the red blood cells — to carry oxygen to tissues and organs
- platelets — to help stop bleeding
- plasma — for blood clotting factors (which help stop bleeding), along with other proteins and antibodies