Are Blood Transfusions Safe in 2012?

Decades ago we used to worry about the possibility of infection or of tainted blood entering our bodies during blood transfusions. Better screening procedures and careful testing have reduced the risk of blood transfusion infections. However, blood transfusions are still not free of risk
for patients.

Many of the risks presented by blood transfusions today are caused by negligence or medical
malpractice
. Those risks include:

  • Giving the patient the wrong type of blood. The
    blood should be checked several times to make sure it is a type compatible with
    the patient receiving the transfusion.
  • Failing to monitor the patient for an adverse
    reaction after the transfusion.

Blood transfusions can be lifesaving. However, it is important to be aware of the risks so that you can confirm the type of blood  you are receiving and report any adverse symptoms as soon as possible.