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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

5 Risks You Should Know About Blood Transfusions

Blood Transfusion

About one in every 350,000 people experience a negative reaction to blood transfusions. The reaction can include anything from fever to shock, infection and diseases, and even death. Here are five facts about blood transfusions you should know.

#1. Errors in blood matching - the most common mistake in blood transfusions is incorrectly matching the patient's blood to the donated blood. This human error can cause a mild reaction such as fever or hives, to a more dangerous reaction called anaphylactic shock.

#2. Fluid overload - this occurs when a patient receives too much blood, requiring administration of medicine to eliminate excess fluid.

#3. Infection - viral infections, such as hepatitis B or C or HIV, can occur as a result of a blood transfusion. This risk is higher in countries not as developed as the U.S.

#4. Increased risk for heart attack and stroke - according to Duke Med News, patients who receive blood transfusions have an increased risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and even death.

#5. Post-surgical mortality - many medical journals have reported that the mortality risk after surgery is higher among patients who received blood transfusions. Some reported that the five-year mortality rate was twice as high, while other journals stated an increase risk of 70 percent following a coronary artery bypass grafting transfusion. One physician reported that the risk is even higher among women.
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