Vince's story

Vince has been having chemotherapy to treat bowel cancer. His wife rang his doctor as she was worried about how tired and short of breath Vince was after simple activities like showering.

His doctor responded by organising a blood test, and the results showed the part of the blood that carries oxygen (haemoglobin) was low, which was probably likely to be contributing to Vince’s fatigue and shortness of breath. He asked Vince to come to hospital to be reviewed and possibly stay for a blood transfusion (red cell).

After the doctor reviewed Vince he recommended a red cell transfusion in the hospital's day centre with Vince able to go home after the transfusion.

The doctor explained the risks of having a transfusion, and also why he thought Vince would benefit from receiving the red cells.

Vince asked if there were any options, but was told that while oral or intravenous iron could sometimes be given, in his case a faster solution was required because of worsening symptoms.

A red cell transfusion was recommended. Vince agreed to this and signed a consent form.

While Vince was waiting for the transfusion in the day centre, his wife asked the nurse about what she needed to do if Vince had a reaction to the transfusion after he had left the hospital.

The nurse explained the procedure, including how Vince would be monitored, and what to look for once he was home.

Vince and his wife were also provided with written information and contact phone numbers to call if they had any problems or questions.

Vince had the transfusion without any problems and was sent home.

The next day he notices he feels better and isn't short of breath after having his shower.

Key information

  • Chemotherapy treatment has led to a decrease in Vince’s haemoglobin (anaemia).
  • His clinical signs of anaemia are fatigue and shortness of breath.
  • Vince goes into hospital to be assessed and to discuss transfusion and other care.
  • Vince signs a consent form after learning his treatment options, their outcomes and the chances of these outcomes occurring.
  • Vince’s wife has concerns about possible transfusion reactions in particular what to do at home.
  • Nursing staff explain the procedure of what is involved in receiving a transfusion and provide written information and information on who to call if there are any problems at home.







Learn more about having a transfusion and red cell transfusion.


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