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Know all about blood transfusions and its process

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Blood transfusion is the process of externally supplying blood to the body of an injured or ill person. Transfusion helps make up for the loss of one or more blood components that your body may have suffered after an illness or injury. In simple terms, transfusion helps supply your blood with components required for the healthy functioning of your body. The time that a blood transfusion procedure can take usually depends on the amount of blood your body is lacking – and this could range between 1 to 4 hours. 

Blood transfusion types

Broadly, blood transfusion is classified into 4 types. These include:

  • Platelet transfusion: This procedure helps people who have undergone chemotherapy or are suffering from a platelet disorder. The process helps patients with low platelet count restore it to a healthier level.
  • Red blood cell transfusion: This type of transfusion is given to patients who have suffered blood loss due to a blood-related disorder or have iron deficiency, like anaemia. 
  • Whole blood transfusion: This transfusion procedure is suitable for people who have suffered a traumatic hemorrhage. Whole blood transfusion helps them recover their platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells.
  • Plasma transfusion: This type of transfusion is apt for people who have experienced liver failure, burns, or severe infections. Plasma transfusion provides them sufficient protein that is necessary for a healthy body. 

Blood types

For a blood transfusion to work, you need a blood type that works well with your blood type. There are four main blood types – A, B, AB, and O. If you are not given a blood group compatible with your own, antibodies present in your body will treat it as a foreign entity and attack it. This can cause do your body more harm than good. This is why before every transfusion, blood banks run a thorough check on the type of blood, Rh factor, and other things that can result in an infection.

The most common blood type is O. It is found in almost 40% of the total population. And it can be given to all the other blood types. This is the reason it is also referred to as a universal donor blood type. On the other hand, the AB blood type is compatible with all the other blood types. This is why it is known as a universal recipient blood type. Another essential thing to note is that each blood type has two variants – positive and negative.

What to expect from a blood transfusion process?

Blood transfusion procedures are usually done at a doctor’s clinic or inside a hospital. However, in exceptional cases, a doctor or nurse can also visit your home and perform this procedure. But, this is done only with a lot of precautions and several tests.

A small needle is placed inside a vein in your hand or arm by a nurse or another qualified healthcare professional during the procedure. A bag filled with blood is kept in close proximity and is connected to the vein through a rubber tube. The transfer of blood between your vein and the bag takes place through the rubber tube. Your vitals will be monitored throughout the blood transfusion procedure. 

The time a person takes to recover from a blood transfusion depends on why they are taking blood in the first place. In most cases, it doesn’t take more than 24 hours. 

 

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