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 is the process of transferring blood or blood components from one person (the donor) into the bloodstream of another person (the recipient). Transfusion is done as a life-saving procedure to replace blood cells or blood products lost through bleeding.
CONDITIONS WHEN BLOOD TRANSFUSION IS NECESSARY
Blood transfusion is essential in the following conditions:
PRECAUTIONS TO BE TAKEN BEFORE THE TRANSFUSION OF BLOOD
- Donor must be healthy, without any diseases like: a. Sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis b. Diseases caused by virus like hepatitis, AIDS, etc.
- Only compatible blood must be transfused
- Both matching and cross-matching must be done
- Rh compatibility must be confirmed.
HAZARDS OF BLOOD TRANSFUSION
Hazards of blood transfusion are of four types:
- Reactions due to mismatched (incompatible) blood transfusion – transfusion reactions.
- Reactions due to massive blood transfusion
- Reactions due to faulty techniques during blood transfusion
- Transmission of infections.
REACTIONS DUE TO MASSIVE BLOOD TRANSFUSION
Massive transfusion is the transfusion of blood equivalent or more than the patient’s own blood volume. It leads to
- Circulatory shock, particularly in patients suffering from chronic anemia, cardiac diseases or renal diseases ii. Hyperkalemia due to increased potassium concentration in stored blood.
- Hypocalcemia leading to tetany due to massive transfusion of citrated blood.
- Hemosiderosis (increased deposition of ion in the form of hemosiderin, in organs such as endocrine glands, heart and liver) due to iron overload after repeated transfusions.
REACTIONS DUE TO FAULTY TECHNIQUES DURING BLOOD TRANSFUSION
Faulty techniques adapted during blood transfusion leads to:
- Thrombophlebitis (inflammation of vein, associa ted with formation of thrombus).
- Air embolism (obstruction of blood vessel due to entrance of air into the bloodstream).
TRANSMISSION OF INFECTIONS
Blood transfusion without precaution leads to transmission of blood-borne infections such as:
- Hepatitis B and A
- Glandular fever or infectious mononucleosis (acute infectious disease caused by EpsteinBarr virus and characterized by fever, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat and abnormal lymphocytes)
- Herpes (viral disease with eruption of small blister-like vesicles on skin or membranes)
- Bacterial infections.
CONDITIONS WHICH NEED EXCHANGE TRANSFUSION
- Hemolytic disease of the newborn (erythroblastosis fetalis).
- Severe sickle cell anemia.
- Severe polycythemia (replacement with saline, plasma or albumin).
- Toxicity of certain drugs.
- Severe jaundice in newborn babies, which does not respond to ultraviolet light therapy. Normally, neona tal jaundice is treated by exposure to ultraviolet rays. It breaks down the bilirubin which is excreted by liver.