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 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 and our consent page. 

If you require assistance downloading the leaflets please call the Customer Service 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

Ordering leaflets

Please order using the distribution hub. If any of the resources aren't available in the distribution hub you may download them as PDFs from this page. 

Promoting our leaflets

Please use this poster to promote awareness and use of the leaflets.

Alternatives to transfusion management

Anaemia (PDF) print friendly factsheet (PDF)  
Explains what anaemia is, its signs and symptoms, the different types, and how it can be treated. 

Cell salvage factsheets
Information for patients on the use of cell salvage (JPAC website).

Iron in your diet (PDF)
Explains the importance of iron and which foods are iron-rich. Please note: this guidance is under review and we would appreciate your feedback, please email any comments to

Blood component transfusion leaflets

Receiving a Blood Transfusion (PDF print friendly version; we will be producing easy read and audio versions) 

In response to the new SaBTO recommendations on Consent for Transfusion, the UK and Ireland Blood Transfusion Network working group have produced this leaflet. The leaflet encompasses red cells, platelets and plasma components and is suitable for adult patients, carers, and the parents of babies and children (the children's comics are not affected and will be retained). This results in the following leaflets being discontinued:

FFP & cryoprecipitate; information for patients
Patient Blood Management 
Will I need a platelet transfusion?
Will my baby need a blood transfusion?
Will your child need a blood transfusion?

Information for patients needing irradiated blood (PDF)
Explains why irradiated blood is needed.

Information for patients who have received an unexpected blood transfusion (PDF)
Supplementary information for use alongside another leaflet. Please note: this guidance is under review and we would appreciate your feedback, please email any comments to

Information for patients with sickle cell disease who may need a blood transfusion (PDF)
Explains how and why blood transfusions may be used in patients with sickle cell disease. 

Leaflets for children 

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

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

Pregnancy related leaflets

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

This leaflet follows the existing British Society for Haematology guidance. Please note that NICE guidelines; Ectopic Pregnancy and Miscarriage [NG126 April 2019], give different advice regarding prophylactic anti-D for management of miscarriage and threatened miscarriage and Abortion Care [NG140 September 2019] give different advice for medical termination of pregnancy.

Platelet antigens and antibodies in pregnancy (PDF)
This leaflet is not available for routine ordering. It is sent out routinely with the report and card if a positive assay has been found. If the mother / patient have lost their leaflet or not received it, please write to H&I, NHS Blood and Transplant, North Bristol Park, Northway, Filton, Bristol BS34 7QH for a copy.

D negative Mother's blood test to check her unborn baby's blood group 
The leaflet explains the importance of the 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.

To access this IBGRL leaflet, expand the 'Documents and ordering leaflets & referral forms' drop down.


These leaflets explain H&I investigations required for transplantation and immunological conditions.

These leaflets explain TAS procedures