If you're going to receive a blood transfusion as part of a planned course of treatment, the doctor, nurse or midwife planning your transfusion will usually obtain your informed consent for the procedure.
In obtaining Consent to treatment , they should:
There may be circumstances when it's not possible to obtain consent before a transfusion for example, if someone is unconscious after a major accident.
A sample of your blood will be taken before the transfusion to check that the blood you receive is compatible with your own blood. The cannula is connected to a drip and the blood runs through the drip into your arm.
Depending on the underlying condition and the type of other treatment needed, some patients may have a larger tube, which is known as a central line, inserted into a vein in their chest.
Alternatively, a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC line) may be inserted in the crook of the arm.
There may be some discomfort when the tube is put into the vein, but you shouldn't feel anything during the transfusion.
You'll be observed at regular intervals, but if you start to feel unwell during or shortly after your transfusion, you should tell a member of staff immediately.
Some people may develop a temperature, chills or a rash. These reactions are usually mild and easily treated with paracetamol or by slowing down the blood transfusion.
Severe reactions to blood are rare. If they occur, staff are trained to recognise and treat them. If you have any concerns, discuss them with your doctor, nurse or midwife.
A single unit of blood can take between 30 minutes and four hours to be given.
A blood transfusion is a process that involves taking blood from one person (the donor) and giving it to someone else (the recipient). Blood donors are unpaid volunteers. They're carefully selected and tested to make sure the blood they donate is as safe as possible.
There are several different types of blood transfusion. Whether or not you need one depends on a number of factors. If you're told that you might need a blood transfusion, you should ask why it's necessary and whether there are alternative treatments.
If you're going to receive a blood transfusion as part of a planned course of treatment, the doctor, nurse or midwife planning your transfusion will usually obtain your informed consent for the procedure. A sample of your blood will be taken before the transfusion to check that the blood you receive is compatible with your own blood.
Blood transfusions are a fairly common procedure. The risk of serious side effects is low, as your blood is tested against the donor blood to make sure it is compatible and you will be monitored regularly during the transfusion.
Motorsport fanatic, Mike Austin, 34, will never forget the summer of 2006. While on his way to work on his much-loved motorbike, he received a blood transfusion after his motorbike collided with a car.
Nisa Karia, 30, who suffers from thalassaemia. She has needed blood transfusions for most of her life and has received more than 1,300 units of blood so far. Nisa was diagnosed with thalassaemia major when she was just five.