Blood transfusions at Franciscan Health help people whose blood is lacking a critical component necessary to promote healing and good health. They are often needed for patients with injuries or anemia or those undergoing surgery or cancer treatment.
When people donate blood, it is stored in a blood bank and used for blood transfusions. A blood transfusion boosts blood levels that are low, either because a body isn't making enough or a patient has lost blood owing to surgery, injury or disease. In some cases, typically those involving elective surgery, a blood transfusion is done with blood the patient has donated for themselves ahead of time.
During a typical blood transfusion, the needed parts of blood are delivered through an intravenous (IV) line that's placed in one of the arm veins. A blood transfusion usually takes one to four hours, though in an emergency it can be done much faster.
People receive blood transfusions for many reasons. Blood transfusions provide the part or parts of blood that are most needed in a patient: red cells, white cells, plasma or platelets. Issues that most commonly require blood transfusions are: