Blood disorders can affect any of the three main components of blood:
Red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body's tissues
White blood cells, which fight infections
Platelets, which help blood to clot
Blood disorders can also affect the liquid portion of blood, called plasma.
Treatments and prognosis for blood diseases vary, depending on the blood condition and its severity.
If you have an illness in which your
bone marrow doesn't make enough blood, such as
aplastic anemia, you may need transfusions. Some
diseases, such as
hemophilia, prevent your body from making a needed
blood component. Components are the different parts of blood, such as red blood
cells, plasma, and platelets. You may need transfusions or injections of the
missing blood component to help treat these diseases.
Is a blood transfusion safe?
Blood used for
transfusions in the United States is very safe and generally free from disease.
Donated blood is carefully tested. It is very rare to get a disease through a
Getting the wrong blood type by accident is the
main risk in a blood transfusion, but it is rare. Getting the wrong blood type
happens in about 1 out of 14,000 transfusions.1
Transfusion with the wrong blood type can cause a severe reaction that may be
life-threatening, but this is very rare.2
Some people bank their own blood a few weeks
before they have surgery. If they need a transfusion during surgery, they can
receive their own banked blood. This reduces the risk of disease and
transfusion reaction from donated blood.
If you have many blood
transfusions, you are more likely to have problems from
immune system reactions. A reaction happens when your
body rejects the new blood and tries to attack parts of it. But tests can help
avoid this. Before you get a blood transfusion, your blood is tested to find
out your blood type. And the blood you will get in the transfusion is tested to
make sure it matches your blood.
You may have a mild allergic
reaction even if you get the correct blood type. Signs of a reaction
A mild reaction can be scary, but it rarely is dangerous
if it?s treated quickly.
What are blood types, and why are they important?
The most important blood type classification systems are the ABO system and the
Rh system. A, B, AB, and O are the
blood types in the ABO system. Each type of blood in
the ABO system also has a positive or negative
Rh factor. For example, if you have "A+ blood," it
means your blood is type A in the ABO system and your Rh factor is