Using blood transfusions for anemia has many different positive and negative aspects. It is an effective way of replenishing the body’s levels of red blood cells and hemoglobin, and this in turn reduces many of the symptoms associated with anemia, such as light-headedness and fatigue. Unfortunately, blood transfusions have inherent risks, such as the possibility of introducing pathogens into the patient’s blood stream, provoking allergic reactions and causing a change to the recipient’s immune system, which could in turn cause infections. For these reasons, blood transfusions to treat anemia should only be used in severe cases.
Anemia is a condition where the body does not have sufficient levels of red blood cells, resulting in a deficiency of vital hemoglobin, which is required to carry oxygen around to different parts of the body. The deficiency of hemoglobin is the cause of the loss of breath and fatigue often associated with anemia. Anemia can be caused by many different conditions, such as iron deficiency, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease or AIDS. Generally, iron supplements are used to treat anemia.
Using blood transfusions for anemia is a common treatment, and it can temporarily relieve symptoms associated with anemia. Blood transfusions are often life-saving, but they are best used in situations where anemia is associated with a serious underlying illness or when surgery or an accident has caused extreme loss of blood. Transfusions are administered directly into the patient’s bloodstream through an intravenous tube.
The negative aspects of using transfusions to treat anemia are related to the fact that the treatment can be risky. Side effects can occur as a result of blood transfusions. This is why many doctors and head of anemia-related organizations advise avoiding blood transfusions as a treatment where possible. Anemia can often be treated much more efficiently with things like vitamin supplements. Additionally, blood transfusions do not have any effect on the underlying cause of the anemia.
Overall, blood transfusion for anemia remains a valuable and life-saving treatment in serious cases. Major issues only arise when physicians use blood transfusions for anemia too often, and therefore introduce patients to unnecessary risks. Studies have also shown that patients who receive transfusions generally pay more for their medical care and are worse in terms of general health than patients who do not receive them.