Last update Sept. 20, 2023

Blood transfusion

Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

Operation by which blood or blood plasma is passed directly or indirectly from the arteries or veins of one individual into the arteries or veins of another, especially indicated to replace blood lost by hemorrhage.

There is no scientific evidence contraindicating a blood transfusion in a nursing mother. A transfusion in itself is not a contraindication to breastfeeding; it will depend temporarily on the clinical condition of the mother.

Immediate postpartum transfusions for acute hemorrhage are very common. 

Blood transfusions are performed during pregnancy and in newborns who need them without any problem.

The use of donor selection methods, blood screening, and pathogen detection and inactivation means that the risks of transmission of infection by transfusion are minimal, particularly in developed countries. (WHO 2023, Ainley 2018, Shander 2016)

Transfusion should be indicated according to precise evidence-based criteria and the blood should have been screened according to standard blood bank standards. (WHO 2023, Shander 2016)

Mothers transfused postpartum have reduced rates of breastfeeding at discharge. Additional breastfeeding support may be needed for transfused women. (Green 2022, Chessman 2018, Drayton 2016)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Blood transfusion is also known as


Blood transfusion in other languages or writings:

References

  1. OMS. Disponibilidad y seguridad de la sangre. Temas de salud. 2023 Consulted on Sept. 20, 2023 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. WHO. Blood safety and availability. Health topics. 2023 Consulted on Sept. 20, 2023 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. Green S, Ryckman KK, Anderson E, Radke S. All-Cause Severe Maternal Morbidity (SMM) and Transfusion-Only SMM Are Independently Associated with a Lower Likelihood of Exclusive Breastfeeding. Breastfeed Med. 2022 Sep;17(9):758-763. Abstract
  4. Chessman J, Patterson J, Nippita T, Drayton B, Ford J. Haemoglobin concentration following postpartum haemorrhage and the association between blood transfusion and breastfeeding: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Res Notes. 2018 Oct 1;11(1):686. Abstract
  5. Ainley LI, Hewitt PE. Haematology patients and the risk of transfusion transmitted infection. Br J Haematol. 2018 Feb;180(4):473-483. Abstract
  6. Shander A, Lobel GP, Javidroozi M. Transfusion practices and infectious risks. Expert Rev Hematol. 2016 Jun;9(6):597-605. Abstract
  7. Drayton BA, Patterson JA, Nippita TA, Ford JB. Red blood cell transfusion after postpartum haemorrhage and breastmilk feeding at discharge: A population-based study. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2016 Dec;56(6):591-598. Abstract

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