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Blood Transfusion


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Has anyone had to have a blood transfusion due to low red blood cell/hemoglobin?

My mom started chemotherapy and radiation for the first time on Monday. Today she had her 'check-up' with the medical oncologist. Blood count reduced from 9.6 to 7.6. She is going in for a blood transfusion tomorrow. Her doctor didn’t appear to be overly concerned but I'm scared ...

How serious is this?

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It is not uncommon, chemo attacks rapidly dividing cells such as a tumor, but other rapidly dividing cells include the bone marrow.

You say her "blood count" changed from 9.6 to 7.6, but I think you mean her hemoglobin, as those numbers don't jive with a red blood cell count. Her starting hemoglobin was already low, the low end of normal would be about 12. Doctors will often give drugs to increase hemoglobin if it dips below 10. Given her low starting point, I would imagine that is why her doctor is going right to a transfusion.

I'm sure some of the folks on here who have had transfusions will chime in and help put your mind at ease. Everything is all so very scary in the early stages. It does get a bit easier, I promise.

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transfusions are not uncommon. THey take a few hours to do but its just like chemo in that they put in the needle and in goes the blood. Staff is very careful in checking for the type so no worries about getting the wrong type of blood. Deb had a few of them done so I remember all too well !!

There is also Aranesp which is a shot to boost red cell production!!


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I am able to say that Bill had a transfusion when he was on one of his treatments a couple of years ago, or so.

As with you, I was a bit apprehensive. Bill had given lots of blood over his lifetime, as a NY Firefighter, but this was his first transfusion.

It was not an uncomfortable experience in any way.

They checked carefully to give the correct type of blood, and Bill sat in a chair until the transfusion was completed.

I cannot remember exactly how long it took, but it was an ample amount of time, and we sat there talking, watching TV, and he went home in good condition.


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Transfusions are not at all unusual. Mom had a platelet transfusion right before Christmas last year. If your dad has been feeling very tired and sluggish the transfusion should pick him up a bit. There are drugs they can give to keep red and white cell counts up, although I believe they are backing off on the drugs for the red cells.


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Hi Deb-- I have had numerous (blood, platelets) transfusions over the years and as mentioned it is not uncommon while undergoing chemotherapy treatments. It is a safe, common procedure and takes about 1 - 4 hours give or take depending on how much blood one needs. It is pretty straight forward and uneventful. Tell mom to bring something to read. Hope this helps to ease your mind.


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"lovingdaughter"]I thought the blood transfusion would give my mom more energy but she has been sleeping almost constantly since she received it.

I was under the same illusion when my dad had his blood transfusion. He showed a very slight improvement and I was expecting miracles. Give her a few days to rest and recover and I'm sure she will be just fine.

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  • 4 weeks later...

My husband had numerous transfusions, and if he was still

undergoing treatment, they did not necessariyl give him a

boost of energy. They did help with his breathing, and he would

feel a little better, but not a big lift in energy levels.

Prayers for you and your Mom

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