Blood transfusion is rarely needed for nutritional anemia. A blood transfusion may be needed for severe anemia. The transfusion will provide healthy red blood cells to immediately improve the amount of oxygen in the body. It can be continued at regular intervals for long periods of time.

Blood that is donated passes through a vigorous screening procedure. During a transfusion, a needle is placed in one of your veins. A bag containing the blood or blood product is hung on a pole nearby, and its contents are dripped slowly, through an IV into your bloodstream. Throughout the transfusion, temperature, heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure are checked regularly. You will be questioned about pain, itching, or discomfort of any sort. This monitoring is most careful during the first 15 minutes of the transfusion, since most severe reactions occur early in a blood transfusion. Once the bag containing the blood product is empty, the needle in the arm is removed.

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