Blood transfusion is an essential part of medical care, but it has risks, including infectious and immunologic complications. Recent medical practice emphasizes the rationalization of transfusion according to guidelines at the national and local levels. Early transfusions used whole blood, but modern practice commonly uses only components of the blood, such as red blood cells, platelets, plasma, and clotting factors. Red blood cell transfusions are indicated to improve oxygen delivery to tissues and to treat hemorrhage. Platelet transfusion may be indicated to prevent hemorrhage in patients with thrombocytopenia or functionally abnormal platelets. Fresh frozen plasma can be used to correct coagulation abnormalities in order to normalize the fibrinogen level, prothrombin time, and activated partial thromboplastin time. Cryoprecipitate is indicated for bleeding associated with fibrinogen deficiencies, factor XIII deficiency, hemophilia A, or von Willebrand's disease. However, blood transfusion should be based on guidelines as well as the patient's clinical condition. Appropriate use of blood components results in effective transfusion therapy and reduces transfusion-related complications.
- Blood transfusion
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