What Is a Blood Transfusion?

A Blood transfusion is a safe, common procedure in which you receive blood through an intravenous (IV) line inserted into one of your blood vessels.

Blood transfusions are used to replace blood lost during surgery or a serious injury. A transfusion also might be done if your body can't make blood properly because of an illness.

During a blood transfusion, a small needle is used to insert an IV line into one of your blood vessels. Through this line, you receive healthy blood. The procedure usually takes 1 to 4 hours, depending on how much blood you need.

Blood transfusions are very common. Each year, almost 5 million Americans need a blood transfusion. Most blood transfusions go well. Mild complications can occur. Very rarely, serious problems develop.


Important Information About Blood

The heart pumps blood through a network of arteries and veins in the body. Blood has many vital jobs. For example, it carries oxygen and other nutrients to your body's organs and tissues. Having a healthy supply of blood is important for your overall health.

Blood is made up of various parts, including red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets (PLATE-lets), and plasma. Blood is transfused either as whole blood (with all its parts) or, more often, as individual parts.

Blood Types

Every person has one of the following blood types: A, B, AB, or O. Also, every person's blood is either Rh-positive or Rh-negative. So, if you have type A blood, it's either A positive or A negative.

The blood used in a transfusion must work with your blood type. If it doesn't, antibodies (proteins) in your blood attack the new blood and make you sick.

Type O blood is safe for almost everyone. About 40 percent of the population has type O blood. People who have this blood type are called universal donors. Type O blood is used for emergencies when there's no time to test a person's blood type.

People who have type AB blood are called universal recipients. This means they can get any type of blood. If you have Rh-positive blood, you can get Rh-positive or Rh-negative blood. But if you have Rh-negative blood, you should only get Rh-negative blood. Rh-negative blood is used for emergencies when there's no time to test a person's Rh type.

Blood Banks

Blood banks collect, test, and store blood. They carefully screen all donated blood for infectious agents (such as viruses) or other factors that could make you sick.

Blood banks also screen each blood donation to find out whether it's type A, B, AB, or O and whether it's Rh-positive or Rh-negative. You can get very sick if you receive a blood type that doesn't work with your own blood type. Thus, blood banks carefully test donated blood.

To prepare blood for a transfusion, some blood banks remove white blood cells. This process is called white cell or leukocyte (LU-ko-site) reduction. Although rare, some people are allergic to white blood cells in donated blood. Removing these cells makes allergic reactions less likely.

Not all transfusions use blood donated from a stranger. If you're going to have surgery, you may need a blood transfusion because of blood loss during the operation. If it's surgery that you're able to schedule months in advance, your doctor may ask whether you would like to use your own blood, rather than donated blood.

If you choose to use your own blood, you will need to have blood drawn one or more times prior to the surgery. A blood bank will store your blood for your use.


What Are the Risks of a Blood Transfusion?

  • Allergic Reactions
  • Viruses and Infectious Diseases
  • Fever
  • Iron Overload
  • Lung Injury
  • Acute Immune Hemolytic Reaction
  • Delayed Hemolytic Reaction
  • Graft-Versus-Host Disease

Blood Transfusion and Donation

Every year, millions of people in the India receive life-saving blood transfusions. During a transfusion, you receive whole blood or parts of blood such as

  • Red blood cells - cells that carry oxygen to and from tissues and organs
  • Platelets - cells that form clots to control bleeding
  • Plasma - the liquid part of the blood that helps clotting. You may need it if you have been badly burned, have liver failure or a severe infection.

Most blood transfusions go very smoothly. Some infectious agents, such as HIV,Hepatitis B,Hepatitis C Virus can survive in blood and infect the person receiving the blood transfusion. To keep blood safe, blood banks carefully screen donated blood. The risk of catching a virus from a blood transfusion is low.

Sometimes it is possible to have a transfusion of your own blood. During surgery, you may need a blood transfusion because of blood loss. If you are having a surgery that you're able to schedule months in advance, your doctor may ask whether you would like to use your own blood, instead of donated blood. If so, you will need to have blood drawn one or more times before the surgery. A blood bank will store your blood for your use.

donar registration

we are a charity Organization & You can help us in our goal

If you dare to dream, and work hard to make the dream come true, it often does. That is the story of Siliguri Rotary Blood Bank. It was way back in 1988/89 during the President ship of Dr. Salil Datta...

  • join us

  • We always want to give the best to the people of Siliguri. We request all our well wishers to join hands and help us grow. Register as a Blood Donar and help us serve our society.

  • our mission

  • Our mission statement is "No one shall suffer in Siliguri and neighbouring areas for want of blood." And also to acquire most sophisticated Blood Banking equipments run the Blood Bank.

  • SRBB Camps

  • Organizing blood donation camps is the perfect way to cater to the demand of blood. Everyone wants to contribute towards the society and save lives. SRBB Organises various Camps from time to time.