Patient Information Leaflets

Please scroll down for the leaflets

Information for patients about blood transfusion

A blood transfusion is a relatively common procedure that can save and improve lives. Often patients who receive a blood transfusion(s) experience no complications or problems.However, there are associated risks and minor to severe problems can occur. The clinical team treating you should discuss these risks with you.

Our patient information leaflets do not replace the guidance provided by the clinical team treating you.

The clinical team will be able to explain to you the reason for the suggested transfusion, benefits, risks and any suitable alternatives. They should ensure that you are aware of the material risks of injury associated with any treatment they offer. If you are unsure about any aspects of your treatment / care, ask them to explain.

More information on transfusion, including some of the risks, is on NHS Choices or our consent page.

If you have any problems accessing the leaflets please call the Customer Service support team on 01865 381010. 


As part of our culture for continuous improvement, NHSBT's Patient Blood Management team welcome your comments on our leaflets. Your feedback is invaluable to us; please email your comments to

Information for hospitals



Will I need a blood transfusion? (PDF) under review, May 2018
Please send your feedback to

The leaflet explains why you might need a blood transfusion, the risks and benefits and how will you feel during a blood transfusion. 

Blood Groups and Red Cell Antibodies in Pregnancy (PDF) Revised July 2017
This leaflet explains why blood groups and antibodies are important in pregnancy.

D negative Mother's blood test to check her unborn baby's blood group (PDF) Revised June 2017
The leaflet explains the importance of this test which identifies Mothers who need the anti-D injection.

Please note it is only available to Trusts which have implemented the fetal screening test.

Patient Blood Management (PDF) Revised March 2017

Patients with sickle cell disease who may need a blood transfusion (PDF) Revised January 2017

Iron in your diet (PDF) Revised November 2016
Helps patients to understand the importance of iron in their diet. The leaflet has been produced in collaboration with the British Dietetic Association and has information on foods which are iron-rich.

Protecting women and babies with anti-D Immunoglobulin (PDF) Revised October 2016

What is Anaemia? (PDF) Revised October 2016
Provides an overview and the options of treatment which may include a blood transfusion. 

Information for patients who have received an unexpected blood transfusion (PDF) Revised October 2016

Will my baby need a blood transfusion? (PDF) Revised June 2016 
A parents' / guardians' guide explaining why a blood transfusion may be necessary.

Fresh Frozen Plasma and Cryoprecipitate (PDF) Revised June 2016
This leaflet describes these components and their uses as part of a treatment process. 

Will I need a platelet transfusion? (PDF) Revised June 2016
Why you might need a platelet transfusion, the risks and benefits and how will you feel during a platelet transfusion. 

Information for patients needing irradiated blood (PDF) Revised October 2016
Why is irradiated blood needed? Do all types of blood need to be irradiated? Does irradiation damage the blood?

Will my child need a plasma transfusion? (PDF) Revised October 2016
Important information for parents of babies and young children receiving fresh frozen plasma.

HDN Awareness Booklet (PDF)  
For patients and healthcare professionals describing advances in the prevention and treatment of Haemolytic Disease of the Fetus and Newborn.

Will your child need a blood transfusion? and children's leaflets (PDFs)
Information for parents / guardians about what to expect if a child needs a blood transfusion. Amazing You explains to young children about blood, red cells, white cells and platelets. Voyages on the Microsub Discovery is aimed at older children, and explains why a blood transfusion may be needed. 

Cell salvage patient factsheets 
Information for patients on the use of Cell Salvage.

Platelet Groups & Antibodies in Pregnancy (PDF)
These leaflets are not available for routine ordering. They are sent out routinely with the report and card if a positive assay has been found. If the mother / patient has lost their leaflet or not received it, copies can be obtained by writing to:

H & I, NHS Blood and Transplant, North Bristol Park, Northway, Filton, Bristol BS34 7QH

Autologous Serum Eyedrops (PDF) for patients using autologous serum eyedrops. Versions are available for the visually impaired.

Therapeutic Apheresis Services patient and donor leaflets 

H & I patient information leaflets