Transfusion: significance and disorders of the blood
Blood transfusion is a medical procedure in which blood is transfused from one person to another. The purpose of a blood transfusion is to replace blood that has been lost due to injury or surgery, to increase the number of red blood cells in the body, or to replace blood components such as platelets or clotting factors.
The significance of blood transfusion is that it can be life-saving in many situations, such as in cases of severe bleeding or anemia. Transfusion of blood or blood products can restore the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, replace lost clotting factors to prevent bleeding, and improve immune function by replacing antibodies.
However, blood transfusions are not without risks. One of the most serious risks is the transmission of infectious diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and Zika virus, if the donated blood is not properly screened. Other risks include allergic reactions, transfusion reactions, and transfusion-associated circulatory overload (TACO) in which too much blood is transfused too quickly, leading to fluid overload and heart failure.
Disorders of the blood include a wide range of conditions that affect the production, function, or destruction of blood cells and blood components. Some common blood disorders include:
- Anemia: a condition in which the body does not have enough red blood cells or hemoglobin to carry oxygen to the tissues
- Hemophilia: a genetic disorder that affects the body’s ability to produce clotting factors, leading to excessive bleeding and bruising
- Thrombocytopenia: a condition in which there are too few platelets in the blood, leading to abnormal bleeding and bruising
- Leukemia: a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow, leading to abnormal production of white blood cells
- Sickle cell disease: a genetic disorder that affects the shape of red blood cells, leading to pain, organ damage, and other complications
Treatment of blood disorders depends on the specific condition and may include medications, blood transfusions, bone marrow transplants, or other therapies.