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 or 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.


Our Patient Blood Management team welcomes your comments on our leaflets. Your feedback is invaluable to us and is part of our drive for continuous improvement.

Please email your comments to

Leaflets about alternatives to blood transfusion


This leaflet explains what anaemia is, the symptoms, the different types, and how it can be treated. This leaflet is under review. If you have any feedback, please email us.

Cell salvage

Cell salvage is a way of collecting the blood that is lost during, or just after your operation, so that it can be given back to you.

Leaflets about receiving a blood transfusion

Receiving a blood transfusion

This leaflet includes the information you need to make an informed decision about whether or not to consent to a blood transfusion.

Unexpected blood transfusion

Important information for all patients who have received an unexpected blood transfusion. This leaflet provides supplementary information and should be used alongside the ‘Receiving a Blood Transfusion’ leaflet.

Information for patients needing irradiated blood

This leaflet explains why irradiated blood is needed.

Information for patients with sickle cell disease who may need a blood transfusion

This leaflet explains how and why blood transfusions may be used in patients with sickle cell disease.

Leaflets for children

Picture book: Amazing you

This picture book style leaflet explains to young children about blood, red cells, white cells and platelets.

Comic: Voyages on the microsub discovery

This comic is aimed at older children and explains why a blood transfusion may be needed.

Other leaflets

You can find more leaflets about blood transfusion, including information related to pregnancy, on the following pages: