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THE PHARMA REVIEW (MAY - JUNE 2013)

Transfusion Medicines: The New Era in Medicines

Nidhi Bhatnagar1 & Ritu Priya Mahajan2

Introduction
Transfusion medicine (or transfusiology) is the branch of medicine that is concerned with the transfusion of blood and blood components. The blood bank is the section of the clinical laboratory where medical technologists process and distribute blood products or transfusion medicines under the supervision of a medical director. Transfusion Medicine Service encompasses the full range of transfusion medicine activities including: immune hematology, hematopoietic progenitor cell collection, processing, and cryopreservation, and therapeutic aphaeresis. An important clinical concern in transfusion medicine occurs when a patient requiring transfusion is found to have unexpected blood group antibodies. Although these antibodies can be characterized in terms of specificity, immunoglobulin class, and in vitro characteristics, no full-proof method exists to predict the clinical significance. The potential for adverse effects of transfusion should be assessed by correlating the serological information with clinical experiences reported in the literature and with the patient's medical history. For example, a patient who has not been exposed to red blood cells (RBCs) by transfusion or pregnancy is unlikely to have a clinically significant alloantibody. A blood transfusion is a safe, common procedure in which blood is given to us through an intravenous (IV) line in one of our blood vessels. Blood transfusions are done to replace blood lost during surgery or due to a serious injury. A transfusion also may be done if your body can't make blood properly because of an illness. During a blood transfusion, a small needle is used to insert an IV line into one of our blood vessels. Through this line, you receive healthy blood. The procedure usually takes 1 to 4 hours, depending on how much blood you need. Blood transfusions are very common each year; almost 5 million Americans need a blood transfusion.

 

 

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