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What are some guidelines for a blood transfusion?

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Quick Answer

The guidelines for a blood transfusion include restricting the procedure to individuals who are actively bleeding and those with acute anemia, according to the American Society of Hematology. Blood transfusion therapy provides oxygen to inadequately supplied tissues.

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Blood transfusions are recommended for stable, hospitalized patients whose hemoglobin count is below 7 to 8 grams per deciliter, informs the American Society of Hematology. Care providers should also consider a transfusion for individuals with cardiovascular disease complaining of chest pain or orthostatic hypertension. Transfusion treatment is not typically recommended in individuals with chronic anemia or those with hemoglobin counts above 8 grams per deciliter.

Blood transfusions are given to prevent or correct hypovolemic shock in individuals who are actively bleeding, explains PubMed Central. This is an emergency medical condition that occurs when an individual loses more than 30 percent of his total blood volume, rendering the heart unable to pump. In adults, treatment with one unit of red cell concentrates increases the individual’s hemoglobin count by 1 gram per deciliter.

A plasma transfusion is preferable in actively bleeding individuals who also have coagulation factor deficiencies, cautions the American Association of Hematology. This can lower the risk of bleeding before a planned surgery or invasive procedure.

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