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Patient information 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 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 risk of injury, associated with any treatment they offer, including those of importance specifically to you.  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, our Patient Blood Management team welcome your comments on our leaflets. Your feedback is invaluable to us; please email your comments to nhsbt.customerservice@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Information for hospitals

  • Will your child need a blood transfusion?, Amazing you, and Voyages on the Microsub Discovery are now available to order as separate items only.
  • Leaflets can be ordered using the distribution hub (on your first visit to the hub you will need to create an account, please read our guidance document for instructions)
  • Please use this poster to promote the awareness and use of these leaflets (it was developed by the South East Coast transfusion practitioners, please free to adapt for your own use)


Amazing you (PDF)
Explains to young children about blood, red cells, white cells and platelets.

Anaemia (PDF) 
The leaflet explains what anaemia is, its signs and symptoms, the different types, and how it can be treated.

Blood groups and red cell antibodies in pregnancy (PDF)
This leaflet explains why blood groups and antibodies are important in pregnancy.

Cell salvage patient factsheets 
Information for patients on the use of Cell Salvage (JPAC website)

D negative Mother's blood test to check her unborn baby's blood group (PDF) 
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.

Fresh frozen plasma and cryoprecipitate (PDF)
This leaflet describes these components and their use as part of a treatment process. 
Please note: this is not available to order from the distribution hub, but you may download it.

H & I patient information leaflets
Information regarding testing performed in laboratories.

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

Information for patients who have received an unexpected blood transfusion (PDF)
This is supplementary information for use alongside a relevant leaflet. 

Information for patients with sickle cell disease who may need a blood transfusion (PDF)
This leaflet explains how and why blood transfusions may be used, and the risks and benefits in patients with sickle cell disease. This leaflet is under review and your feedback is invaluable in this process; please email your comments to us at  nhsbt.customerservice@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Iron in your diet (PDF)
Helps patients to understand the importance of iron in their diet and which foods are iron-rich.


Patient Blood Management (PDF)
This leaflet explains the principles of Patient Blood Management is a standard of care which aims to optimise the treatment of patients who many need a transfusion.


Platelet antigens and 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


Protecting women and babies with anti-D immunoglobulin (PDF)
The leaflet explains why certain blood groups can cause problems during pregnancy and how anti-D can help to prevent this.

Therapeutic Apheresis Services' patient and donor leaflets.

Voyages on the microsub discovery (PDF)
This is aimed at older children and explains why a blood transfusion may be needed.

Will I need a blood transfusion? (PDF) 
The leaflet explains why you might need a blood transfusion, the risks and benefits, and how you may feel during a blood transfusion. 

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

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

Will your child need a blood transfusion?  (PDF)
Information for parents / guardians about what to expect if a child needs a blood transfusion

Will my child need a plasma transfusion? (PDF) 
Information for parents of young children receiving fresh frozen plasma.