A blood transfusion is a way of adding blood to your body after an illness or injury. If your body is missing one or more of the components that make up healthy blood, a transfusion can help supply what your body is missing.
Depending on how much blood you need, a transfusion can take between 1 and 4 hours. About 5 million Americans need a blood transfusion every year, and the procedure is usually safe.
What Happens During a Blood Transfusion?
Your blood is made up of several different parts including red and white cells, plasma, and platelets. “Whole blood” refers to blood that has all of them. In some cases, you may need to have a transfusion that uses whole blood, but it’s more likely that you’ll need a specific component.