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Why would my doctor recommend a blood transfusion?

Individuals who lose blood during surgery or from other kinds of trauma may need a blood transfusion. In particular, individuals who start off with lower blood counts and those with heart disease, circulation problems or other major illnesses are more likely to receive a blood transfusion.

There are lots of reasons why your doctor might recommend a blood transfusion. A blood transfusion is a way to give your body blood when you need it. One of the main reasons is to replace blood that is lost through a serious injury or during an operation.

Other possible reasons for a transfusion include bleeding disorders and anemia. Sometimes you might need to have a blood transfusion if you have an illness where your body cannot make enough of a certain part of your blood, like the red blood cells that carry your oxygen.

You may require a transfusion to replace blood that is lost during surgery or an accident. Alternatively, you may require a transfusion to correct severe anemia that may not be responsive to other treatments, for example, if you are receiving chemotherapy, your bone marrow may be temporarily unable to make new blood cells. Your blood transfusion options include:

  • Use blood from other donors.
  • Donate blood for your own use, if that is possible or appropriate for your situation.
  • Use blood donated by family or friends that is your blood type.
  • Ask your doctor about alternatives to transfusion.

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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.