What is a blood transfusion?

A blood transfusion is a procedure where a patient receives donated blood, usually through an intravenous line. 

It is a very common procedure given to patients to treat a wide range of disorders and diseases. For example, in cases of anaemia, a transfusion is used to treat low levels of red blood cells where a patient has failed to respond to other treatments.

Blood transfusions are used in several every day and emergency medical situations, such as to replace blood after surgery or to a patient who has lost blood after giving birth to a baby.

Specialist blood transfusions

Our specialist blood transfusion service at the Royal Free Hospital works together with the haematology team to provide expert treatment to patients with a range of blood disorders. This includes: 

  • Replacing blood lost due to blood disorders like haemophilia, which can prolong bleeding and blood loss. 
  • Replenishing red blood cells and other healthy blood components that are depleted by cancerous conditions that affect the blood and bone marrow, such as leukaemia. 
  • Supporting patients with conditions such as lymphoma or myeloma, who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment, with blood transfusions.