A blood transfusion involves taking blood from one person (the donor) and giving it to someone else.
You may need a blood transfusion for a number of reasons, including:
- to replace blood lost during major surgery, childbirth or a severe accident
- to treat anaemia that has failed to respond to other treatments; anaemia is a condition where a person has low levels of red blood cells
- to treat inherited blood disorders, such as thalassaemia or sickle cell anaemia
UCLH is one of six blood establishments in the UK and is one of the largest and most complex in relation to the types of patients we treat.
The blood transfusion laboratory is based at 60 Whitfield Street and provides a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week service covering patients at all of the UCLH hospital sites.
The service processes 65,000 blood samples per year and issues 70,000 blood components. This plays a vital role in the treatment of patients with a variety of conditions, including:
- haemato-oncology / bone marrow transplants
- patients on the Obstetric Unit and Fetal Medicine Unit
- other specialist services.
The department also issues plasma products and albumin for specialist apheresis, and fractionated blood components to meet the needs of the UCLH Haemophilia Centre.
The blood transfusion team comprises three consultant haematologists, a transfusion specialist registrar, a transfusion practitioner team and blood transfusion laboratory staff. The department is MHRA and UKAS compliant.