Blood transfusion during pregnancy
Blood transfusion is a procedure in which blood is given to you through an intravenous IV line into one of your blood vessels. Most pregnant do not want the idea of getting a blood transfusion during pregnancy . However certain conditions may warrant that you do get it.
Why may you need blood transfusion during pregnancy ?
Having a blood transfusion during pregnancy
Pregnant women usually require blood transfusion that only include red blood cells. It is less likely that they will need plasma and platelets. A small tube will be inserted in a vein in the arm or leg. The transfusing blood will get into your body through a drip. The bag usually contains about 1/3 of a liter of blood . It takes an estimated 3 hours to fully transfuse but in some cases the rate may be expedited.
Are there any side effects of blood transfusion during pregnancy ?
During blood transfusion, you will be closely monitored for any complications or side effects.
Minor side effects include the following :
These side effects usually get better within a day and are alleviated by medication.
More serious side effects include the following :
- severe headaches
- difficulty breathing
- abrupt drop in blood pressure which can be life threatening
When you experience these side effects, the transfusion will be stopped. Your state will be accessed before continuing the transfusion if necessary.
Massive or multiple blood transfusions may present more severe pregnancy complications such as
- low blood calcium – hypocalcemia
- electrolyte imbalance involving low potassium – hyperkalemia
- clotting factors are diluted leading to weakened or impaired coagulation – coagulopathy
- 2, 3-DPG depletion – depletion of a blood component that regulates how easily oxygen is moved from hemoglobin into tissue
- transfusion reactions
If you need blood transfusion, you need to make sure you understand all your options. You have to know that in emergency cases, your doctor may have to make the decision for you. You have the right to decline blood transfusion. However you should also know that in some circumstances , your only way of staying alive is through a blood transfusion. Ask your health care professional if you have any concerns about blood transfusion.
Anemia during pregnancy. Net doctor. http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/anaemiapregnancy.htm. Accessed August 27, 2015
Blood transfusion : Why is it necessary. NHS Choices. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Blood-transfusion/Pages/Why-is-it-necessary.aspx. August 27, 2015