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Please note that we cannot answer personal medical queries. Enter your comments below optional. Did you find what you were looking for? Yes No. Email Address. Submit Now Cancel. Thank you. Your feedback has been successfully sent. Blood and blood vessels explained Cholesterol Iron anaemia and blood disorders Bleeding clotting and infections Blood pressure Blood vessel and bone marrow conditions Blood donation and transfusion Blood and blood vessels explained Blood count The full blood count FBC test looks for abnormalities in the blood, such as unusually high or low numbers of blood cells Blood groups A person's blood group is determined by a pair of genes, one each inherited from their mother and father Bone marrow Bone marrow is the spongy tissue in the hollow centres of a person?

Circulatory system The heart, blood and blood vessels work together to service the cells of the body Heart explained The heart is about the size of a clenched fist and lies in the middle of your chest, behind and slightly to the left of your breastbone Lipoedema Lipoedema is a painful, chronic, symmetrical swelling in the legs, thighs, buttocks and sometimes arms due to the accumulation of fat in the subcutaneous tissues.

Lymphatic system The lymphatic manages fluid levels in the body, filters out bacteria and houses types of white blood cells Cholesterol Cholesterol Your body needs cholesterol, but it can make its own. You don't need cholesterol in your diet Cholesterol - healthy eating tips Replacing foods that contain saturated fats with foods that contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats will help to lower your cholesterol Genetic factors and cholesterol Familial hypercholesterolaemia is an inherited condition characterised by higher than normal levels of blood cholesterol Triglycerides If a person habitually eats more kilojoules than they burn, they will have raised triglyceride levels in the blood Iron anaemia and blood disorders Anaemia When a person is anaemic, the red blood cells have to work harder to get oxygen around the body Haemochromatosis Haemochromatosis iron overload disorder tends to be under-diagnosed, partly because its symptoms are similar to those caused by a range of other illnesses Hughes syndrome Hughes syndrome is thickening of the blood caused by abnormal immune system cells Iron Iron is important for transporting oxygen in the blood Iron deficiency - adults Don't take iron supplements unless advised by your doctor Porphyria Porphyria can affect the skin, nervous system, gastrointestinal system or all of these, depending on the specific type Thalassaemia Thalassaemia is an inherited blood disorder that can cause anaemia or death if not treated Bleeding clotting and infections Bleeding Bleeding may be minor or it may be a life-threatening medical emergency Deep vein thrombosis Long international flights are suspected of contributing to deep vein thrombosis in susceptible people Haemophilia All children with severe haemophilia are given preventative treatment with infusions of blood products before they have a bleed Needlestick injury A needlestick injury means the skin is accidentally punctured by a used needle.

Nosebleeds Bleeding from the nose is common in children and is usually not severe or serious Septicaemia Bacteria in the bowels, urinary tract, mouth and skin can cause disease if they get into the bloodstream Subarachnoid haemorrhage A subarachnoid haemorrhage is any bleed located underneath one of the protective layers of the brain known as the arachnoid layer Subdural haematomas Subdural haematomas are blood clots formed underneath one of the protective layers of the brain Travel tips for seniors All travellers should plan carefully, but older people have a few extra concerns when travelling Von Willebrand disease A person with von Willebrand disease may have frequent nosebleeds, heavy menstruation or excessive bleeding from the mouth Blood pressure Blood pressure Healthy eating and lifestyle changes can help to manage high blood pressure Blood pressure high - hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can increase your risk of heart attack, kidney failure and stroke Blood pressure - keep your blood pressure down video Heart Foundation of Australia warns of the risk of high blood pressure and tells you what you can do to keep your blood pressure down Blood pressure low - hypotension Low blood pressure is only a problem if it has a negative impact on the body Dizziness - orthostatic hypotension Postural hypotension is the lightheaded feeling you may get if you leap out of bed very quickly Fainting Common causes of fainting include heat, pain, distress, the sight of blood, anxiety and hyperventilating Pulmonary hypertension Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure on the lungs Shock Shock is when there is not enough blood circulating in the body.

Stroke explained A stroke interrupts blood flow to an area of the brain and is a medical emergency Blood vessel and bone marrow conditions Amyloidosis A person with amyloidosis produces aggregates of insoluble protein that cannot be eliminated from the body Aneurysm An aneurysm may have no symptoms until it is either very large or it ruptures Granulomatosis with polyangiitis Granulomatosis with polyangiitis GPA , formerly known as Wegener granulomatosis is a rare condition that targets the arteries, veins and capillaries of the kidneys and the respiratory system Henoch-Schonlein purpura Henoch-Schonlein purpura causes a purple spotted skin rash which lasts around one to four weeks, and is often marked by relapses Leukaemia Most children and many adults with acute leukaemia can expect to be cured, while chronic leukaemia can be successfully managed Peripheral vascular disease Peripheral vascular disease is the reduced circulation of blood to a body part other than the brain or heart Polycythaemia vera Polycythaemia vera is characterised by the production of too many red blood cells, caused by abnormal function of the bone marrow Raynaud's phenomenon Raynaud's phenomenon can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, so see your doctor if you experience it Varicose veins and spider veins Smaller varicose veins are usually treated by sclerotherapy?

Blood-donation-and-transfusion Blood donation Donated blood is used to help people who are sick or injured, or for medical research Blood transfusion Donated blood is screened for blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis, syphilis and HIV Organ and tissue donation Discover the facts about organ and tissue donation, decide about becoming a donor and discuss your decision with the people close to you Related Information.

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Blood and blood vessels Bleeding, blood pressure, conditions, risks and blood products Blood donation Donated blood is used to help people who are sick or injured, or for medical research Kidneys - dialysis and transplant People with kidney failure need dialysis or a transplant to stay alive Related information on other websites. National Blood Authority, Australia.

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Content Partner. Learn more. Multilingual resources on blood transfusion. A general guide to blood transfusion: information for patients and families Blood transfusion: have all your questions been answered? Frequently asked questions about blood transfusion. In one group, trial participants received blood at lower blood counts. In the other group, trial participants received blood at higher blood counts. The data are current up to May We identified a total of 31 relevant trials, which involved 12, participants.

All of the studies compared different policies for blood transfusions.


The risk of dying within 30 days of the transfusion was the same whether the participants received transfusion at lower or higher blood counts. We also evaluated harmful events that occurred after participants received, or did not receive, blood transfusions, including infection pneumonia, wound infection, and blood poisoning , heart attacks, strokes, and problems with blood clots, and found that there was no clear difference in the instance of these events between the group that received transfusions at lower blood counts and the group that received transfusions at higher blood counts.

Surgeries and Procedures: Blood Transfusion

We found that most of the RCTs provided a high quality of evidence, in that they were adequately conducted and used appropriate methods that minimised any possible biases that could make the validity of the results uncertain. We concluded that it was not harmful to the participants' health status to give blood at lower or higher blood counts. If a policy of giving blood only at lower blood counts were followed routinely in clinical practice, it would reduce the amount of blood patients receive substantially and reduce the risk of patients receiving blood transfusions unnecessarily, as transfusions can have harmful effects.

Additional studies are needed to establish the blood count at which a blood transfusion is needed in patients who have suffered a heart attack, brain injury, or have cancer. There was no evidence that a restrictive transfusion strategy impacts day mortality or morbidity i. There is considerable uncertainty regarding the optimal haemoglobin threshold for the use of red blood cell RBC transfusions in anaemic patients.

Blood is a scarce resource, and in some countries, transfusions are less safe than others because of a lack of testing for viral pathogens. Therefore, reducing the number and volume of transfusions would benefit patients. This is controversial because of confounding factors and conflicting results from other studies.

7.1: Transfusion in surgery

Large randomised trials are in progress to answer this important question. Unless or until there is prospective trial evidence of benefit, specific selection of fresh red cells is not recommended. Patients who report abnormal bleeding, especially after dental extractions or surgery, or give a family history of bleeding problems, should be investigated before surgery wherever possible.

Patients who also have impaired blood coagulation e. The template bleeding time is not a useful screening test for risk of surgical bleeding. Consensus guidelines commonly used for thrombocytopenic patients requiring surgery are summarised in Table 7. When treatment is indicated, a single adult therapeutic dose ATD of platelets should be transfused shortly before the procedure and the post-transfusion count checked 10 minutes after transfusion gives a reliable indication.

Table 7. Bone marrow aspiration and trephine biopsy can be performed in patients with severe thrombocytopenia without platelet support if adequate local pressure is applied. Many older patients scheduled for surgery are on oral anticoagulants or antiplatelet drugs.

Minor dental procedures, joint aspiration, cataract surgery and gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures including biopsy can be safely carried out on warfarin if the INR is within the therapeutic range. More complex perioperative management should be guided by local protocols and specialist haematological advice.

Restart maintenance dose of warfarin on evening of surgery if haemostasis secured. Fresh frozen plasma produces suboptimal anticoagulation reversal and should only be used if PCC is not available. In recent years a number of new oral anticoagulant drugs have been licensed. These include direct oral thrombin inhibitors, such as dabigatran, and direct oral Factor Xa inhibitors, such as rivaroxaban and apixaban. These drugs have no specific antidote.

Their half-life is relatively short but can be prolonged in patients with reduced renal function.

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  5. Wherever possible, treatment should be stopped at least 24 hours before surgery, longer if renal function is impaired see Summary of Product Characteristics for each drug. Management of bleeding involves stopping the drug, applying local pressure and administration of antifibrinolytic agents such as tranexamic acid. Fresh frozen plasma FFP does not reduce bleeding caused by these drugs.

    Having a blood transfusion

    Unfractionated heparins UFHs have a short plasma half-life, but this is increased in the presence of renal dysfunction. They can be administered by intravenous infusion or subcutaneous injection and therapeutic dosing is usually adjusted by comparison of the activated partial thromboplastin time with that of normal pooled plasma APTT ratio.

    ABSITE review Hematology and Blood products Flashcards -

    Protamine can cause severe allergic reactions and, in most situations, simply discontinuing the UFH is all that is necessary. Low molecular weight heparins LMWHs have a longer half-life, around 3 to 4 hours, which is significantly increased in renal dysfunction. The duration of anticoagulant effect depends on the particular LMWH and is only partially reversible by protamine. Administration is by subcutaneous injection once or twice daily.

    They can be prescribed in a fixed or weight-related dose without monitoring in many clinical situations and are convenient for self-administration.