Blood Transfusions Essays

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Blood Transfusion Kean University Jonathan Guzman

Blood Transfusions
According to the American Red Cross, “about 5 million people each year in the United States get blood transfusions.” It is a fact that blood is significant for the body in order for it to work properly. At plain sight everybody’s blood can seem similar, but not everything is always what it seems. There are variables that make people’s blood different from one another, such as different types of blood, different amounts of white blood cells, and different amounts of red blood cells, and different containments such as viruses and bacteria in the blood. This crucial liquid is circulated throughout the human body within capillaries, veins and arteries to our heart, where it is cleaned from contaminants and waste products, then restored with nutrients and oxygen needed to maintain life. That is the way the human body system maintains its cells. Blood provides the necessary nutrients to our cells to keep them alive and functioning properly. When this process is compounded by chronic blood loss, trauma, clotting abnormalities such as hemophilia and anemia, the most common treatment is the use of blood transfusions. A blood transfusion is a medical procedure that doctors use in which blood is replaced with another human beings blood. Transfusions are usually given through an intravenous line that usually takes up to a few hours depending how much blood needs to be given. Blood donations are distributed throughout the community every year in where a person voluntarily draws blood in order to help someone in need. Yes, this medical procedure can help save a life, but it does have its side effects. The topic of blood transfusions has been a debatable topic for years due to the pros and cons of this procedure.
In addition, blood transfusions help treat strokes in children with sickle cell disease. Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder that causes blood cells to change in shape causing blockage in a person’s blood flow. This affects the oxygen that is carried by hemoglobin and causes tissues and organs to die because they are not receiving a sufficient amount of oxygen. Patients may experience fatigue, pain, and infection due to sickle cell disease. “By 14 years of age, 11% of children with SCA will suffer a cerebral infarct” (Lindsay et al., 2005, p. 277). If untreated these patients have a higher chance of developing a second stroke.
According to this research article, “Chronic Blood Transfusion Therapy Practices to Treat Strokes in Children with Sickle Cell Disease” there are three different method of blood transfusions which are simple transfusion, manual partial exchange transfusion, and erythrocytapheresis. Simple transfusion is used to “increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of red blood cells to ameliorate or prevent severe symptoms” (Lindsay et al., 2005, p. 278). Manual partial exchange transfusion is a “method of separating and removing abnormal RBCs from a patient’s body and replacing them with healthy RBCs” (Lindsay et al., 2005, p. 278). This unique procedure has the ability to increase oxygen capacity, decrease the amount of hemoglobin sickle cells, and decrease the rate of iron to prevent iron overload. Erythrocytapheresis has the ability to “remove blood-containing Hb S from the patient while simultaneously replacing that same volume with packed RBCs free of Hb S” (Lindsay et al., 2005, p. 279). The purpose of this research was to find out which practice was consistently used by nurses when dealing with pediatric patients who are diagnosed with SCD. Having 11 nurses that care for children with SCD complete a closed ended questionnaire was used to retrieve the data. Manual partial exchange transfusion was the most common blood transfusion performed taking in 66%. “Simple transfusions and erythrocytapheresis account for 21% and 13% of the practices reported” (Lindsay et al., 2005, p.…