Treatments and tests

Patient blood management – consent

Blood transfusions

A blood transfusion is the transfer of blood from one person to another. A transfusion usually occurs when a patient has lost significant blood from an accident or surgery.

Blood transfusions are generally safe, with all donated blood screened for blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis, syphilis and HIV.  However research shows that blood transfusions do carry some risks.

If you need to have a blood transfusion, your doctor will explain the risks, benefits and alternatives.

Not all surgical patients will require a blood transfusion, and by planning ahead with your doctor, some transfusions can be avoided or minimised.

Before your surgical or medical procedure your may wish to ask your doctor some questions about the risks and benefits of receiving a blood transfusion.

  • How can I optimise my blood count and iron levels?
  • Are there any medications, herbal or vitamin supplements I should stop taking before my procedure? Is there a possibility of blood transfusion with my planned procedure?
  • Do I have other options to avoid a blood transfusion in my procedure?
  • If a blood transfusion becomes likely during my surgery, can you limit the amount of blood you give me?

You have the right to be part of the decision-making process in your care. 

Patient resources

Where to get help


WA Patient Blood Management Program

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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