Medical Definition of Blood transfusion

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Blood transfusion: The transfer of blood or blood components from one person (the donor) into the bloodstream of another person (the recipient). Blood transfusion may be done as a lifesaving maneuver to replace blood cells or blood products lost through bleeding or due to depression of the bone marrow. Transfusion of one's own blood (autologous) is the safest method but requires advanced planning, and not all patients are eligible for it. Directed donor blood allows the patient to receive blood from known donors. Volunteer donor blood is usually most readily available and, when properly tested, has a low risk of side effects.

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Reviewed on 12/4/2018

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