Advertisement

Is it safe to get a blood transfusion?

To be sure that blood is safe to use for blood transfusions, the donor's blood is scanned for germs and diseases. Blood donors are chosen very carefully to reduce the chance of passing on an infection. Also, it’s important that their blood matches and is the right type for the recipient's blood and body. The donor’s blood is collected using a needle, and the blood is stored in a plastic bag in a blood bank. 

Many patients and their families are concerned about the risk of contracting a disease (e.g., hepatitis, HIV, bacterial infection) through a transfusion. While blood transfusions are not risk-free, the blood supply is safer than ever. Red Cross volunteer blood donors are carefully screened for risk factors that would disqualify them from donating blood. In addition, every donation goes through extensive testing for various infectious disease markers, including HIV and hepatitis. Donations that test positive are destroyed.

The risk of contracting HIV, hepatitis, or bacterial infection from a blood transfusion is extremely low. When a transfusion is needed, the benefits of receiving blood outweigh the risk of contracting an infectious disease. If your doctor recommends a transfusion, ask about the benefits and risks.

Continue Learning about Blood Transfusion

Are blood transfusions used in cardiac surgery?
The Society of Thoracic SurgeonsThe Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Blood-product transfusions are often used during cardiac surgery to offset the morbidity and mortali...
More Answers
What do I need to know about blood transfusions for my baby in the NICU?
Intermountain Registered DietitiansIntermountain Registered Dietitians
A blood transfusion is a procedure to put blood or blood products from a donor into your baby’s body...
More Answers
How are platelets obtained for transfusion?
American Red CrossAmerican Red Cross
Platelets are prepared by using a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the donated u...
More Answers
Is a blood transfusion from a volunteer donor for cancer treatment safe?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Blood transfusions are safer now than they have ever been. However, like anything in medicine, there...
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.