Blood Transfusions

When an AML patient is anemic or has low platelet counts the doctor will schedule transfusions. Transfusions are usually sufficient to restore counts of of the blood to adequate levels.

Red blood cells are the blood component most frequently used for transfusion. RBCs are the only cells in the body that transport oxygen.

AML patients do not make enough platelets. Platelets are small bodies in the blood that are essential for clotting. When there are not enough platelets in a person's body they will have bleeding problems.

If you have ever given blood then this is very similar in terms of procedure to getting a blood transfusion. A transfusion needle is inserted into the recipient's vein after cleaning the area. During the transfusion health care providers monitor the patient closely to ensure there are no adverse reactions from the blood. Once it is determined that the patient is fine they patient will be monitored occasionally until the transfusion period is over. Once the transfusion is over a compress bandage is placed over the needle-insertion site to prevent bleeding.