Information for Patients
Blood Transfusion and Donation
Every year, millions of people in the United States receive life-saving blood transfusions. During a transfusion, you receive whole blood or parts of blood such as
- Red blood cells - cells that carry oxygen to and from tissues and organs
- Platelets - cells that form clots to control bleeding
- Plasma - the liquid part of the blood that helps clotting. You may need it if you have been badly burned, have liver failure or a severe infection.
Most blood transfusions go very smoothly. Some infectious agents, such as HIV, can survive in blood and infect the person receiving the blood transfusion. To keep blood safe, blood banks carefully screen donated blood. The risk of catching a virus from a blood transfusion is low.
Sometimes it is possible to have a transfusion of your own blood. During surgery, you may need a blood transfusion because of blood loss. If you are having a surgery that you're able to schedule months in advance, your doctor may ask whether you would like to use your own blood, instead of donated blood. If so, you will need to have blood drawn one or more times before the surgery. A blood bank will store your blood for your use.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
A fever is a body temperature that is higher than normal. A normal temperature can vary from person to person, but it is usually around 98.6 F. A fever is not a disease. It is usually a sign that your body is trying to fight an illness or infection.
Infections cause most fevers. You get a fever because your body is trying to kill the virus or bacteria that caused the infection. Most of those bacteria and viruses do well when your body is at your normal temperature. But if you have a fever, it is harder for them to survive. Fever also activates your body's immune system.
Other causes of fevers include
- Medicines, including some antibiotics, blood pressure medicines, and anti-seizure medicines
- Heat illness
- Autoimmune diseases
- Some childhood immunizations
Treatment depends on the cause of your fever. If the fever is very high, your health care provider may recommend taking an over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Adults can also take aspirin, but children with fevers should not take aspirin. It is also important to drink enough liquids, to prevent dehydration.