Topic: Tests & Procedures
This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about transfusion. If you have any questions after reading this handout, feel free to have the nurse go over any information that you do not understand.
WHAT IS A TRANSFUSION?
Blood or blood products (parts of blood that the body needs) are given to your child through a plastic tubing attached to an intravenous catheter (small hollow tube that is inserted into your child’s vein).
WHY IS THE TRANSFUSION NECESSARY?
Blood tests have shown that your child’s blood work is abnormal. The blood or blood products given to your child will help to correct the abnormal blood work. The blood transfusion will not correct your child’s problem. It is a way to help your child improve. Your doctor will discuss the exact reasons why the transfusion is needed.
WHO SUPPLIES THE BLOOD FOR TRANSFUSION?
The blood utilized at The Children's Medical Center is provided by the Community Blood Center in Dayton. People in the community volunteer to donate blood. The Community Blood Center also has two additional programs, autologus and directed donor transfusion.
Autologus - At times, a patient may donate their own blood. The blood is drawn from the patient and stored. Depending on your child’s general health and age, blood count and reason for the transfusion, he/she may be able to do this donation. Ask your child’s doctor if this is possible. This is the safest method of transfusion with no worry about contagious disease from the blood and no side effects from the blood. Your child’s donated blood will still be tested against a sample of blood from your child to make sure that the blood being given is correct.
Directed - A family member or friend donates blood to your child. These donations are no more or less safe than unknown volunteer donors through the Community Blood Center. There is a charge for directed donations.
HOW DO I KNOW THAT THE BLOOD MY CHILD RECEIVES IS SAFE?
Each donor (volunteer or directed) is asked questions about their health and risk factors for disease before they are allowed to give blood. The donated blood is tested very carefully for contagious diseases such as hepatitis, syphilis and AIDS among others. The blood is collected and stored in a sterile (no germs) bag. The bags are used once and then thrown away. The blood is tested along with your child’s blood to make sure that the blood being used is the right type. These steps assure that the transfused blood is as safe as possible.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE TRANSFUSION?
The nurse prepares the blood bag with special tubing. Two nurses check your child’s name band to carefully match it with the name and number on the blood bag. The blood flows through the tubing into the intravenous catheter (small hollow tubing) into your child’s vein. The nurse will stay with your child for the first several minutes to see if there are any side effect(s) to the blood. The nurse will check your child’s temperature, pulse, breathing and blood pressure several times at the start of and during the transfusion. The nurse will be writing down all of this information in the chart.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS?
Most children do not have any side effects. Side effects are called a transfusion reaction. Most side effects include hives, rash, itching, fever, headache or chills. In very unusual cases, your child may have shortness of breath, chest/back pain or nausea. Tell the nurse right away if you notice these side effects.
SHOULD I WATCH FOR ANY FUTURE SIDE EFFECTS?
Again, side effects are rare. These side effects usually occur within 2 weeks or up to 6 months. Please notify your doctor if any of these side effects occur. They may be related to the blood transfusion. If you cannot contact your child’s doctor, please call The Children's Medical Center Emergency Department at 937-641-3600 or bring your child to The Children's Medical Center Emergency Department.
SIDE EFFECTS DURING THE NEXT TWO WEEKS
Chills Hives and/or Itching
Chest/back pain Dark Urine - red or bloody (tea colored)
Flushing of skin/rash Bleeding
SIDE EFFECTS DURING THE NEXT SIX MONTHS
Jaundice (yellow eyes/skin) Tiredness
Loss of Appetite/weight loss Abdominal tenderness
Night sweats Swollen glands (neck or under arms)
Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar www.childrensdayton.org (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).
La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 2000, 2003
The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.
Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.
Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 2000, 2003
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