How safe are blood transfusions?

Before your blood transfusion, the staff will do tests on your blood, including finding out your blood type and checking for "antibodies" that could react to your transfusion in a harmful way. The staff can then give you blood that matches yours as closely as possible to reduce the chance of a reaction. Getting an infection from a blood transfusion is very unlikely. More than 10 tests are done on each unit of donated blood before it can be given to a patient.

Screening and testing of donated blood have made blood transfusion very safe, but may not prevent all problems. If you have ever had a reaction to a transfusion in the past, tell your doctor or nurse right away.

Continue Learning about Blood Transfusion

Why would my doctor recommend a blood transfusion?
American Society of AnesthesiologistsAmerican Society of Anesthesiologists
Individuals who lose blood during surgery or from other kinds of trauma may need a blood transfusion...
More Answers
What is different between whole blood and blood components transfusion?
American Red CrossAmerican Red Cross
Blood may be transfused as ‘whole blood’ or as one of its many components. Up to four components may...
More Answers
What are blood conservation strategies?
The Society of Thoracic SurgeonsThe Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Certain high-risk patients having cardiac procedures benefit from blood conservation strategies (BCS...
More Answers
Do people need blood transfusions because of surgical complications?
Randall D. Stastny, DMDRandall D. Stastny, DMD
The short answer is no. The long answer is that there are many different types of "complications" th...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.