Blood Transfusion Reasons | Blood Transfusion Side Effects and Symptoms

What is Blood Transfusion?

Blood transfusion is the process of transferring blood or blood components from one person (the donor) into the bloodstream of another person (the recipient).
Blood Transfusion Reasons
Fig: Blood Transfusion Reasons


Indications of Blood Transfusion:

Major indications of blood transfusions have pointed out below:

  1. Anemia, bleeding disorders (e.g. Hemophilia, thrombocytopenia),
  2. Hemorrhage (blood loss is greater than 30% of blood volume),
  3. Trauma,
  4. Burns,
  5. Surgery,
  6. Cancer patients requiring therapy,
  7. Women in childbirth and newborn babies in certain cases.

Hazards of Mismatched Blood Transfusions:

Hazards of mismatched blood transfusions mean reactions due to transfusions of incompatible blood.

The severity of Transfusion Reactions:

The severity of transfusion reactions maybe-

  • Mild: Fever and chills,
  • Severe: Acute renal failure, shock, and death.

Severity depends upon the amount of blood transfused, type of reaction, and general health of the patient.

Sign and Symptoms of Mismatched Blood Transfusion Reactions:

All the sign and symptoms of mismatched blood transfusions reactions have presented below:

1. Non-hemolytic transfusion reaction:

It includes-

  • Fever,
  • Difficulty in breathing,
  • Itching.

2. Hemolytic transfusion reaction:
It includes immediate effects and delayed effects.

a. Immediate effects or hazards:
It includes-

  • Fever,
  • Chills,
  • Increased heart rate,
  • Low blood pressure,
  • Shortness of breath,
  • Bronchospasm,
  • Nausea,
  • Vomiting,
  • Red urine,
  • Chest pain.
  • Rigor,
  • Pulmonary oedema and congestive cardiac failure (may be developed in some patients).

b. Delayed effects or hazards:
It includes-

  • Hemolysis of red blood cells,
  • Jaundice,
  • Haemoglobinaemia,
  • Haemoglobinuria (hemoglobin in the urine),
  • Renal shutdown: Uremia, Anuria, and acute renal failure.

Hazards or Effects of Blood Transfusion:

Hazards or effects of blood transfusions are four types:

1. Reactions are due to mismatched (incompatible) blood transfusions- transfusions reaction.

2. Reactions due to massive blood transfusion:
It includes-

  • Circulatory shock,
  • Hyperkalaemia,
  • Hypocalcemia leading to tetany (due to massive transfusions of citrated blood),
  • Haemosiderosis (increased deposition of iron in the form of haemosiderin).

3. Reactions due to faulty techniques during blood transfusion:
It includes-

  • Thrombophlebitis,
  • Air embolism.

4. Transmission of infections:
Blood transfusions without screening leads to the transmission of blood-borne infections as follows:

  • HIV (AIDS),
  • Syphilis,
  • Glandular fever,
  • Hepatitis B, C,
  • Malaria,
  • Herpes.

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