What is Blood Transfusion & When Do We Need It?

Blood transfusion is a common procedure in which blood is given through intravenous (IV) from one person to another. Blood transfusion is a lifesaving therapy in many circumstances. Blood transfusion is mostly done in major surgeries or in serious injuries where in the body is weak and unable to make the blood on its own. Let us understand what blood transfusion is and when do we need it.

What is Blood Transfusion?

What is Blood Transfusion?

Blood transfusion can be defined as the infusion of blood or blood products from a healthy human being to the needy, which is given through intravenous line with appropriate blood type by medical professionals. There are various health issues where it is necessary to have blood transfusion to save the life of the victim. Since it is a medical procedure, therefore it is important to be carried out under the supervision of the expert. It is considered as a lifesaving procedure as it is done in conditions that are potentially fatal and blood is needed for the survival of the person.

Every year many people undergo blood transfusion. Knowing about the medical conditions wherein it becomes necessary for blood transfusion to save life. Different people receive blood transfusion for different reasons some only need a part of blood for instance platelets, plasma and so on, while some undergo complete blood transfusion. Hence, here we are trying to understand the conditions when we need blood transfusion.

When Do We Need Blood Transfusion?

It is necessary to know when we need blood transfusion. Blood transfusion is needed during certain medical conditions, during emergencies or during planned procedures, which might risk the life of the patient due to blood loss. Sometime we need blood transfusion as an ongoing treatment for certain medical ailments.


Almost all the major surgeries are done with a risk of heavy blood loss. We need blood transfusion during certain surgeries to compensate for the blood loss to maintain the blood level in the body. The necessity and type of blood transfusion depends on the condition and its severity, which is decided by the surgeons.


It is needless to mention that cancer is deadly disease, which largely affects the circulatory system and lymphatic system of the body. Hence, the body is unable to make new and healthy red blood cells (RBCs); therefore, the blood count in the body deteriorates and the patient gets weaker day by day. This is when we need blood transfusion to maintain blood levels and prevent further deterioration of the patient. In addition to that, cancer treatments like radiotherapy and chemotherapy also decrease the blood count, when we need blood transfusion again.

Burns, Infection and Organ Failure

We need blood transfusion in case of severe burns, blood transfusion is done to save the life of the victim. Mostly in case of burns and in liver infection, plasma, a part of the blood is received by the patients or by the burn victim. Certain infections can be life threatening and depending on the case, blood transfusion may be planned. Also, certain conditions can result in organ failure, when blood circulation may be a problem. We need blood transfusion in such cases too.

Certain Blood Disorders

There are certain genetics conditions where it is necessary to go for blood transfusion for instance thalassemia, blood cancer where it is important to change the blood at every month or as advised by the doctor.

The above mentioned are a few medical condition where it is important to receive the blood transfusion as this will certainly help you to save their life.

Different Blood Types!

As regards blood transfusion, knowing the blood types is essential. There are four types of blood namely A, B, O, AB and apart from that each individual has either Rh positive or Rh negative. Hence, blood group is accompanied with Rh factor like B+ or O- and so on. In addition to that, the blood used in the transfusion, it is important to match with your blood types and with Rh factor, therefore it is important to get it checked thoroughly, to avoid any negative impact on the health.

Risks of Blood Transfusion

Risks of Blood Transfusion

Although blood transfusions are usually safe, they can have some risks. Some of the most common risks of blood transfusion are listed as follows:

  • Fever: Developing fever during the transfusion is the clear-cut sign that you are having the febrile transfusion reaction. In that case, the doctor will stop the transfusion. You may also feel feverish after the procedure is done, for which it is best to seek medical opinion.
  • Acute Immune Hemolytic Reaction: Although this is very rare reaction, which usually occurs when the blood of the donor is not matched. The body refuses to take any foreign thing in the body and hence the reaction. This often needs immediate medical attention, depending on the symptoms.
  • Iron Surplus: If you have received multiple transfusions, then there are chances that you might end up with iron over load, which is termed as hemochromatosis that can damage important organs. In order to combat the effect, the patient needs to go iron chelation therapy to remove the excessive iron from the body accompanied with other drug.
Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 13, 2021

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