Risk of blood transfusion
Risk of Blood Transfusion

16 Risk of Blood Transfusion

Risk of Blood Transfusion – Blood transfusion is the process of delivering blood to your body. These medical steps are taken to save your life when the body is short of blood.

Performing a blood transfusion is a very commendable thing. How not? By performing blood transfusions we can help the lives of others from the danger of death from a disease or accident. In addition, blood transfusions also have various health benefits for donors directly.

Many benefits of blood transfusion. Even so, the risks you can accept are not few.

The blood transfusion process usually lasts one to four hours depending on the composition of the blood received and how much blood you need. Before the transfusion, the blood type and rhesus status (Rh) of the donor and the recipient of the blood will be matched first.

Risk of Blood Transfusion

Generally, if performed according to the procedure, blood transfusions rarely result in complications. But there remains a risk behind this medical procedure.


A frequent risk of blood transfusions in recipients’ bodies is fever. Fever can occur directly during the transfusion process or the moment after the blood transfusion is performed. This is not a serious problem and often occurs in recipients because it is the body’s response to white blood cells that enter the body recipients. The condition of fever in this recipient can be handled by providing fever-lowering drugs and healthy food for the body.


Allergies may occur and are a reaction of the immune system to proteins or other substances in the blood received by the body. Allergic reactions such as reddish rash may appear during or after a blood transfusion is performed.


Infection screening before donating blood must always be done. This is to prevent the spread of infections that may be transmitted through the blood. However, it is not uncommon for errors and infected blood to pass the examination with a count of at least 1:2,000,000 blood transfusions contaminated with HIV virus or 1:205,000 cases contaminated with hepatitis B virus.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

HIV AIDS has long been the scourge of diseases most feared by many people, because anyone who has been infected with this disease then the hope of regaining recovery is very small, although it does not close the possibility of being cured.

In addition to unhealthy relationships, the disease can also be transmitted through blood transfusions. Therefore, laboratories and hospitals always perform a number of extra intensive treatments before blood transfusions are performed to the patient’s body.

Lung damage

After the blood transfusion process, it is possible that the lungs will be inflamed for six hours afterwards. If the inflammatory condition gets worse and causes damage to the lungs, then the sufferer will have difficulty breathing and the body is lack of oxygen.

Bone Cancer

One of the most severe types of cancer, bone cancer can be caused because cells that have mutated into tumors attack the bones in the body. Bone cancer is often mistaken for a common symptom of bone pain in the early stages. Since the blood is already contaminated with these cancer cells, there is still a high probability of being infected with bone cancer carried by germs through blood transfusions.

Hemolytic Reaction

Hemolytic reactions consist of two parts, namely acute hemolytic reactions and slow hemolytic reactions.

Acute hemolytic reactions

Acute hemolytic reactions are the most serious, but rare. It is generally caused by misidentification in matching recipient and donor blood samples (crossmatch), so that the patient’s antibodies attack the transfused red blood cells and trigger the release of substances that can harm the kidneys.

Symptoms include chills, fever, nausea, pain in the chest and back area, shortness of breath, hypotension, and urine reddish or grayish color (hemoglobinuria).

Slow hemolytic reaction

The slow hemolytic reaction of symptoms arises on the 3rd to 21st day after transfusion, such as a mild fever, a decrease in hematocrit, an increase in unconjugated bilirubin levels, and prehepatic jaundice, even in some cases showing no clinical symptoms.

In this reaction, the recipient body will slowly damage the red blood cells that are transfused, so the problems will arise until the patient’s red blood cells become low.

Both acute hemolytic reactions and slow hemolytic reactions are common in patients with a previous history of transfusions.

Other risks

  • Excess fluid
  • Excess iron
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Anxious, restless
  • Shock
  • Chest pain, back pain
  • Graft versus host disease
  • Slow transfusion reaction: between 24 hours to 2 weeks after transfusion

In the event of one of the blood transfusion reactions, the transfusion will be stopped and the doctor will conduct further treatment and examination.

Thank you very much for reading The Risk of Blood Transfusion, hopefully useful.

Last Updated on December 31, 2020 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team

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