Transfusion of blood and blood components is a common practice in obstetric wards but it is not without risk. The incidence of transfusion reactions varies from 4 in every 100 transfusions for nonhemolytic reactions to 1 in every 40,000 for hemolytic transfusion reactions. Appropriate and rational use of blood/components is essential for ensuring availability for the needy as well as preventing risks of transfusion-transmitted diseases and saving resources. Rational use means providing the right blood or products, in the right quantity, to the right patient and at the right time, bridging demand, and supply gap. The safety, adequacy, and effectiveness can only be achieved if unnecessary transfusions can be prevented. This article discusses the physiological basis of transfusion as well as the blood components involved.
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