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 for patients on transfusion, including some of the risks, is on NHS Choices and on the JPAC website.  


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

We are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of producing hard copies of our leaflets and therefore ask you to consider how you can encourage patients to access to the leaflets online. In support of this we are working hard to provide all our leaflets in suitable formats. Please use this poster (PDF 397KB) to promote awareness of the leaflets and online access.

Some leaflets are available to order in hard copy (leaflets you can order have a link to the website to use for ordering); in addition, please feel free to download any of our leaflets, if you need help with downloading, please email

Alternatives to transfusion management

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

Download Cell salvage factsheets
Information for patients on the use of cell salvage (Transfusion Guidelines website).

Iron in your diet (PDF 2863KB)print friendly version (PDF 236KB) 
Explains the importance of iron and which foods are iron-rich. 
Order Iron in your diet

Blood component transfusion leaflets

Receiving a Blood Transfusion (PDF print friendly version)
Translations and accessible formats are available on the Transfusion Guidelines website
Order Receiving a Blood Transfusion

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

Download Information for patients with sickle cell disease who may need a blood transfusion (PDF 1436KB)
Explains how and why blood transfusions may be used in patients with sickle cell disease. 


Leaflets for children 

Amazing you (PDF 7332KB)
Explains to young children about blood, red cells, white cells and platelets.
Order Amazing you

Voyages on the microsub discovery (PDF 10046KB)
This is aimed at older children and explains why a blood transfusion may be needed.
Order Voyages on the microsub discovery

Pregnancy related leaflets

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


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

These leaflets explain TAS procedures