This booklet provides information about blood transfusion for patients with blood cancers and their families. The most frequently asked questions about blood transfusion relate to:
- the safety of the blood supply
- diseases that can be transmitted by blood components
- other complications that may occur following blood transfusion and what is being done to reduce those risks
These questions are answered in this booklet.
The need for transfusions varies depending on the type of blood disease in question and the type of drugs used in the chemotherapy. For example, almost all patients with leukemia (a disease primarily affecting the marrow and blood) require some transfusions during their care. Many patients with Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma (diseases primarily affecting the lymph nodes and spleen) may not require transfusions unless they require a blood or marrow stem cell transplant or if the lymphoma involves the marrow.