Risks of Blood Transfusion
Fluid overload is a common
type of nonimmune reaction.
- Fluid overload can occur when you receive too
much fluid through transfusions, especially if you have not experienced blood
loss before the transfusion.
- Fluid overload may require treatment
with medicines to increase urine output (diuretics) to rid your body of the
A person can develop iron overload after
having many repeated blood transfusions. This condition, sometimes called
hemochromatosis, is often treated with medicine. Too
much iron can have an effect on many organs in the body.
The transmission of viral infections,
hepatitis B or C or
HIV, through blood transfusions has become very rare
because of the safeguards enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) for the collection, testing, storage, and use of blood. The risk of
infection from a blood transfusion is higher in less developed countries, where
such testing may not happen and paid donors are used.
possible for blood to be contaminated with bacteria
or parasites. Bacterial contamination can happen during or after donation. Donated blood might have a parasitic infection. Transfusion with blood that has bacteria or parasites can result
in a systemic infection. But this risk is small.
The risk of a bacterial infection in donated blood is small because of the precautions taken in drawing
and handling blood. There is a greater risk of
bacterial infection from transfusions with platelets. Unlike most other blood
components, platelets are stored at room temperature. If any bacteria are
present, they will grow and cause an infection when the platelets are used for