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Blood Transfusion


A blood transfusion is a procedure used to give you blood through an IV. The IV is placed into a large vein, usually in your arm. You may get only part of the blood, such as red blood cells, platelets, or plasma. Transfusions are usually done in the hospital or in a transfusion center.



Your primary healthcare provider may give you medicines to prevent or manage a blood transfusion reaction at home. Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working or you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of emergency.

Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:

Your primary healthcare provider may want you to come in several days after your transfusion. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • You feel tired and weak within 10 days of your transfusion.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You develop a high fever and chills.
  • You feel dizzy or faint.
  • You cannot urinate, or you urinate very little.
  • You develop headaches or double vision.
  • Your skin or eyes look yellow.
  • You see pinpoint purple spots or purple patches on your body.
  • You have a seizure.
  • You have chest pain or feel very short of breath.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.