Blood transfusions

Some patients will require blood transfusions as part of or following a major surgical operation or their ongoing medical treatment.

Blood and blood components are supplied by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS). The ARCBS has strict screening protocols for donors and most of our blood is obtained in Australia, where donation is from unpaid volunteers.

Before a blood or blood product transfusion, you will be asked for your consent. At this time, you should understand the reasons, risks and benefits and be able to discuss objections or concerns with your doctor.

In an emergency, it may not be possible to discuss your need for a transfusion and obtain your consent. The reasons for the transfusion should be explained to you when you are recovering.

If you wish to accept only certain blood products, you can discuss this with your doctor and the various options can be completed on the consent form.

Refusing a transfusion

If you are a Jehovah’s Witness or have other objections to blood transfusions, it is extremely important that you discuss this with your doctor and that your wishes are recorded in your medical record. It is important that your wish not to have a blood transfusion is clearly written on the hospital consent form before you sign this document.

Read more information about blood and blood products.

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