Two nurses performing the bedside check
of the blood component
The transfer of blood components from one person (the donor) into the bloodstream of another person (the recipient).(1)
The transfusion will be given through an IV, also known as a drip, through a soft plastic tube in either your arm or hand.
All transfusions should be planned during business hours, whenever possible.(2) Only emergency transfusions should take place after hours.
A check of the blood component must be performed at the bedside by two clinical staff one of whom is required to be a registered nurse or a medical practitioner.(3) One of these staff members performing the check will then administer the transfusion.
The rate at which you will be transfused depends on your blood volume, cardiac status, how stable your condition is and which blood product you are being transfused. If you require blood quickly, it can be given very rapidly.
If you are at risk of circulatory overload, you will be transfused at a slower rate but your transfusion should never exceed 4 hours.(4)
When the needle is inserted, you may feel a prick or a stinging sensation. Most people do not feel anything during the blood transfusion. Some may feel pressure as the blood goes in.
You will be closely monitored throughout your transfusion.
If you feel uneasy, unwell or notice anything that you did not have before your transfusion began, let one of the nurses or doctors know immediately.
Transfusion reactions can occur during your transfusion or they may be delayed and occur once your transfusion has finished. The majority of reactions are not severe and can be corrected with minor medical intervention. Signs and symptoms to look out for during your transfusion include but are not limited to:
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