Blood transfusion is a procedure to provide blood to an individual or a patient, who has lost blood due to an injury or a surgery. Blood transfusion is also a regular process followed for the individuals who face blood deficiency due to certain medical conditions. According to a study published by the United States National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “Generally, RBC (red blood cell) transfusions are performed with the intention to increase arterial oxygen content and thus oxygen delivery to the tissues.”
According to Dr Manjusha Agarwal, Senior Consultant-Internal Medicine at Global Hospital, Mumbai, for a transfusion to take place, all kinds of tests are performed to ensure the compatibility of the transfused blood, the Indian Express reported. During the transfusion, a needle is inserted into the vein of a person’s arm through which the blood is extracted. The medical staff observes all the vital conditions when the transfusion is taking place. “It takes upto 4 hours to complete a transfusion, in emergencies, it can be transfused even at a faster rate,” Dr Agarwal was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.
Experts also caution that there could be negative effects of blood transfusion if the blood is not compatible with the recipient. In such cases the recipient’s body produces antibodies which destroy the donor’s blood cells and it leads to transfusion reaction. This may cause rashes, itching and fever or even in severe cases injury to lungs or kidney.
In certain cases human errors during blood transfusion may also cause serious consequences for blood recipients. Human error can be avoided by proper test for a perfect match between the blood groups of the donor and the recipient before the transfusion. Correct labeling of the transfused blood in storage can also help to prevent such errors.