What you can expect

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Blood transfusions are usually done in a hospital, outpatient clinic or doctor's office. A blood transfusion typically takes one or two hours, depending on which parts of the blood you receive and how much blood you need. You're usually seated or lying down for the procedure.

During the procedure

Before the transfusion begins, an identification check will be done to ensure you're being given the correct blood. Then an IV line with a needle is inserted into one of your blood vessels, and the donated blood that's been stored in a plastic bag enters your bloodstream through the IV. A nurse will monitor you throughout the procedure.

If you develop a fever, shortness of breath, pain at the site of transfusion or chills, or if you feel itchy or uneasy, tell your nurse immediately.

After the procedure

The needle and IV line will be removed. You may develop a small bruise around the IV site, but this should go away with time.

Apr. 26, 2012