A blood transfusion is the process of transferring blood or blood-based components from one person to another. The blood travels from the plastic bag in which it is stored into the veins through an IV.
Cancer patients often require blood transfusions from losing a great deal of blood from internal bleeding or lack of blood-making cells.
Cancer treatments radiation and/or chemotherapy can also cause a significant decrease of blood-making cells, requiring a blood transfusion to keep the number at a normal level.
People who have anemia have below-normal levels of iron-rich protein in the blood, which causes weakness and fatigue. Blood transfusions increase the amount of the iron-rich protein.
Blood transfusions are administered to patients who have lost a large amount of blood because of a serious accident, injury or surgery.
Autoimmune disease and certain spleen disorders may require blood transfusions because they often destroy blood cells as well as bone marrow.