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Treating anaemia

Tractament de l’anèmia

The goal of treatment is to increase the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry. This is done by increasing the number of red blood cells or the concentration of haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that is rich in iron and carries oxygen to the body's cells. In addition, the underlying disease or the cause of the anaemia, where there is one, needs to be treated.

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Description

Standard treatment

Treatment of anaemia depends on the type, cause and severity of the disease. 

It may consist of:

  • Changes in diet
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Medications
  • Surgical interventions
  • Surgery to treat blood loss

Your doctor may determine the need for a blood transfusion or other more complex procedures.

 

Blood and/or blood product transfusion 

A transfusion of blood and/or blood products consists of replacing the blood components that are vital for the patient's survival: red blood cells, platelets and plasma, which cannot be replaced by other alternatives.

 

When should a transfusion be performed? 

This treatment is indicated in patients who, at a given time, are lacking in essential blood components and require the balance to be corrected as soon as possible.

Transfusions carry risks and the decision to transfuse must always be taken by a doctor, depending on the patient's condition, test results and an assessment of the situation. Patients will always need to sign a permission document, which is called informed consent.

 

How is a blood and/or blood product transfusion done?

Blood and blood components are obtained from voluntary donors. Before donating blood, donors are required to complete a questionnaire about their health status and must also undergo a medical examination. All the blood components obtained are then analysed to rule out the existence of diseases that may be transmitted through the blood.

Before the transfusion is performed, it should be checked that the blood product is compatible with the sick person's blood. The relevant medical staff must assess the risks and benefits of the treatment for the patient.

All components are administered through a vein using a venous catheter.

 

Risks 

Although blood transfusion is currently very safe, some adverse effects may occur:

  • Mild reactions, such as fever or chills. These can be treated easily.
  • Severe reactions, such as destruction of red blood cells, haemolysis, severe allergic reactions and pulmonary oedema, with significant risk to patients. They are rare.

Currently, the transmission of blood-related infectious diseases is highly unlikely. All units of blood are tested for their blood type and to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases such as syphilis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, Chagas disease and human T-lymphotropic virus infection.

 
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