Blood transfusion

Published on March 30, 2023   19 min

A selection of talks on Clinical Practice

My name is Neil Blumberg and I'm a physician who works at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York in the USA. I'm a hematologist with a particular interest not only in blood diseases but in blood transfusion. And the topic of today's talk is "Blood Tansfusion".
What is blood transfusion? I think most people know a little bit about it, but mentioned that blood transfusion is the infusion into a recipient's vein of a blood component that can be whole blood, it can be the red cells. It can be liquid portion called plasma. Or can be platelets that are involved in hemostasis preventing bleeding. These cells usually come from a altruistic donor and is given to a patient who has life threatenin-illness Because transfusions are very serious undertaking and it's only used in patients, with quite serious problems. It can be, in fact lifesaving. It is in effect like a temporary organ transplant just as if you had a liver transplant or kidney transplant, except it's not permanent because blood doesn't hang around forever.
Why are red blood cell transfusions used? These are in fact the most common form of transfusions used by physicians or nurses. The most common use for transfusions is for bleeding. This is only usually life-threatening bleeding, not mild bleedind or for life-threatening anemia, which is, anemia is defined as a reduced amount of circulating red blood cells, which carry oxygen. And the most common cause of life-threatening bleeding, as you might imagine, is injury or trauma such as a motor vehicle accident. But occasionally it can occur in a inadvertent fashion after surgery. The most common cause of life-threatening anemia or low red cell count is diseases of the bone marrow, which is where red cells are made.