What you can expect

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Blood transfusions are usually done in a hospital, an outpatient clinic or a doctor's office. A blood transfusion typically takes one to four 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. 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.

Tell your nurse immediately if you develop:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain at the site of transfusion
  • Chills
  • Unusual itching
  • A sense of uneasiness

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.

April 01, 2015