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are blood transfusions safe?

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Old 10-03-2008, 05:48 PM   #1
Italia 43
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Italia 43 HB User
are blood transfusions safe?

was wondering if bloodtransfusions are safe?

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Old 11-08-2008, 06:40 PM   #2
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Re: are blood transfusions safe?

blood transfusions are pretty much safe as long as policies and procedures in hospitals to ensure the correct( blood group,type etc)is given to the correct patient are adhered to . most western countries also have strict and good controls for testing blood for diseases such as hiv & hepatitis,cmv etc so there are virtually no incidents of contamination by these diseases through transfusion nowadays. also for some elective procedures/surgery many institutions will use where possible blood you have lost during surgery to give back to you ( using devices called cell savers - common in orthopaedic & cardiac surgery) they also will let some patients donate some of their own blood prior to a procedure to be used if needed.
nobody can ever guarantee that something like a blood transfusion will be 100% safe as people can have various reactions to receiving blood but the bottom line is if you really need the blood - you really need it. and despite what certain religious groups literature will tell you ( those who are anti blood transfusion/blood products) you will die if you lose a large amount of blood and it is not replaced, iv fluids such as colloids ( which are manufactured and provide lost circulating fluid volume instead of blood in short term ) can only be used in smallish amounts for short term only, without a certain amount of red blood cells in your body your organs will start to fail and ultimately stop working completely.
i hope this helps a little

Old 11-10-2008, 10:41 AM   #3
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Re: are blood transfusions safe?

The blood supply is pretty safe, as far as catching a virus, but not 100% I know someone who got Hepatitis C from a transfusion 3 years ago. This is because blood is tested for the antibodies to viruses, but not for the viruses themselves, so if the donor has the virus but does not produce antibodies for some reason, the virus would not show up in the testing.
For this reason, make sure you really need the blood and that waiting is not an option. Some doctors are very careful to order blood only when you REALLY need it, but some are more lax, and order it before that point.
The chances of a reaction to the blood are small but also possible, so a nurse should be there for awhile at the beginning of the transfusion, taking your temperature every few minutes and so on, until it's clear you're not reacting.

Good luck!

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