Blood Transfusions

1231 words 5 pages
Blood Transfusions
A blood transfusion is a safe, common procedure in which blood is given to you through an intravenous (IV) line in one of your blood vessels. Blood transfusions are done to replace blood lost during surgery or due to a serious injury. A transfusion also may 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
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Screening of blood has to be done before transfusion to prevent from infection into recipient. Majority of tests detect the presence of anti bodies to HIV and not the virus itself. The overall risk of AIDS infection by transfusion remains quite small when compared to other commonly accepted risks. It was estimated that between 67 and 227 HIV-positive blood units entered the nation's blood supply undetected in 1987 out of 20 million units of blood and its components transfused annually. Their best estimate was 131 units, which corresponds to a risk to a patient of one in 153,000 per unit transfused.
The World Health Organization (WHO) currently screens donated blood for four major diseases. These include hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, and syphilis. If the donated blood tests positive for any of these diseases, it is discarded. Donors will receive an examination before giving blood. The examination will consist of taking your temperature, blood pressure and pulse reading, as well as a blood count. The American Red Cross requires its donors to weigh at least 110 lbs. and be 17 years or older. (Some states allow donors to give blood at 16 years.) Also donors can only give blood once every eight weeks. Students under the age of 19 also have to meet a height and weight requirement for the American Red Cross. In addition to these guidelines other factors can prevent you from donating blood. These factors include pregnancy, if you have been treated for a


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