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Your doctor will review any possible complications with you.
Complications from a blood transfusion are rare but may include:
Severe reactions due to allergies, volume overload, iron accumulation, and the mismatching of blood types. Hospitals have several steps to make sure blood is correctly matched.
Certain infections, such as hepatitis or
HIV, can be passed on during blood transfusions. There are many steps and tests that are done to thoroughly check donated blood before anyone is allowed to receive it.
You will have a blood test to determine your specific blood type. The donor blood will be carefully matched to your blood type.
You may also be given a physical exam. Your vital signs, including your temperature, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure, will be recorded.
You may be given Tylenol and Benadryl before you receive a transfusion. These drugs will help reduce any minor allergic reactions.
Description of the Procedure
You will be asked to sit in a comfortable chair. A bag containing the blood product will be hung nearby. An IV needle will be placed into a vein in your hand or arm. The blood product will drip slowly from the bag through a tube into your vein. After the bag of blood product is empty, the needle in your arm will be removed.
Throughout the transfusion, your vital signs will be checked regularly. You will also be asked about pain, itching, or discomfort of any sort. Most reactions occur early in a blood transfusion, so you will be monitored more closely during the first 15 minutes.
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