The allogeneic blood transfusion side effects include many complications including infections. Infections that increase with each unit of blood given. There are blood transfusion alternatives, some that involve boosting glutathione. These do not have the side effects of the traditional blood transfusion.
It is estimated that for every unit of blood transfused there is an increase risk of hospital infection by rates as high as 50 percent.
If a patient is transfused with two units of blood, there will be twice the rate of hospital acquired infections.
It is common practice to automatically order two units of blood. Considering the risk, it would seem that this would make no sense from a resource standpoint. It would also make no sense from a patient safety standpoint.
Consider a typical evening admission. An elderly patient is admitted from a nursing home with a GI bleed. This means there is a bleed in the gastrointestinal tract. Usually the bleed is somewhere below the stomach.
One of the signs is an odoriferous (very unusually different smelly) stool. Also the stool is mahogany in color from the red of the blood.
When they come into the hospital, the usual treatment is to type and cross two units of blood. These are usually given within an hour of arrival. Within the hour the transfused blood starts to be pooped out. No problem, there is a second unit on hand ready to be transfused.
Once it is given, it is also pooped out. This process is repeated a few times through the night. Usually about four units are pooped out before the emergency surgery is started in the morning.
With a bloodless hospital, since a blood transfusion is not an option, the surgery is started as soon as possible. Now there are even some non-surgical treatments.
One study looks at just giving EPO and another looked at giving EPO and Progesterone. Both were effective in stopping the GI bleed.
The two ways of treating a patient are the result of two different methodologies of patient management.
One is taking a wait and see view. Since there is a perception of a safety net with the blood transfusions, it is easy to start with giving the transfusion.
The other is damage control medicine. This means that the doctors get in and take care of any damage as soon as they can.
The question, what kind of care do you want. someone who takes a wait and see or someone who stops any further damage.
Shorr AF, Duh MS, Kelly KM et al. Red blood cell transfusion and ventilator-associated pneumonia: A potential link? Crit Care Med 2004;32:666-74.
Impact of allogenic packed red blood cell transfusion on nosocomial infection rates in the critically ill patient. Crit Care Med 2002;30:2249-54.
Transfusion practice and nosocomial infection: assessing the evidence. Curr Opin Crit Care 2005;11:468-72.
Do a search yourself on TRALI.
Do a search on immunomodulation, Hepatitis TT and AIDS. Type the second search term as blood transfusions. You will be amazed. The important thing to remember, the safer options are only options if you find a health care team that is skilled in this advanced form of care.
Boosting Glutathione to Build Blood is an option that provides increased immunity and helps boost blood counts at the same time.
There are other allogeneic blood transfusion side effects that will be covered in the future. Come back as this section grows.
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