Blood and Blood Product Transfusion

A blood transfusion is when blood or parts of blood are transferred from one person (a donor) and given to you. Parts of blood that can be transfused are red cells, plasma or platelets. The blood is transferred through a tube inserted with a needle into one of your veins. Blood is a very important resource that is donated freely by people in the community. The Health Service has a responsibility to ensure that all blood and blood products are used in a safe and appropriate way.

One of our obligations is to make sure that you are well informed about blood product transfusion and other treatment options. You will be asked to sign a consent form before you can be given any blood or blood products. It is important that you have the right information to help you make the right decisions about your care.

Blood transfusions may be lifesaving but they do carry a small amount of risk. The following publications provide helpful information for you and your family.

‘My guide to blood transfusions’ explains how you may reduce the chance of needing a transfusion, the risks, and the signs of a blood product transfusion reaction.

‘A general guide to blood transfusion’ provides you with information on blood product transfusion.
This information is also useful for your families and carers. It is available here in 15 languages other than English, under the Information For Patients section.

We have a policy on getting your consent for any blood product transfusion. There are also strict procedures we must follow to make sure that you receive the correct blood in a safe way. You can view these policies by clicking here.

If you have questions that are not answered by this information, you can always ask your doctor.