A blood transfusion is a safe, common procedure in which blood is given through an intravenous (IV) line inserted into one of your blood vessels. Blood transfusions replace blood lost during surgery or a serious injury. A transfusion also may be done if your body can’t make blood properly because of an illness.
During a blood transfusion, a small needle is used to insert an IV line into one of your blood vessels. Through this line, you receive healthy blood. The procedure usually takes 1 to 4 hours, depending on how much blood you need.
Blood transfusions are very common. Each year, nearly 5 million Americans receive a blood transfusion. Most blood transfusions go well. Mild complications can occur, and very rarely, serious problems develop.