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Blood transfusions

camul's picture
Posts: 2271
Joined: Dec 2010

On aFriday I was talking to a lady whontold me her mother recently passed, she had colon cancer. I toldnher I was sorry.. She said she did not die from the cancer , it was from a blood trasfuson. She got a septic infection.
Then on Friday, a friend from my support group, went into septic shocknwhile getting a transfusion. He had a blood cancer . It was last one to bring his blood count back up. aHe was in a trial and his count drpped so did transfusions to get his levels back up.
I had no idea that they could be dedly. So many people here have them, they just seem
so routine. Both had ports, but it was only the lady n her 50's that her daughter said it was from an infection in the port?
I am so amazed how much I keep learning about things I never much thought about!


SIROD's picture
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

I was aware of it because I had one very bad infection prior to being dx with cancer.  My doctor had called my parents to ask them to come up as I wasn't expected to make it and I still had a son at home.  I was transferred to a larger medical center and placed in the ICU.  My temperature was exceedingly high, some of my organs where showing signs of failing and etc.  I had a minor surgery the week before.

Have had my share of infections but that first one was the worse.  I really don't like to stay to long in a hospital for that very reason.  I guess any opening such as a port can cause bacteria to enter.

Probably it doesn't happen as often as it once did and so we think of it as normal, and safe.



sandra4611's picture
Posts: 121
Joined: Sep 2013

Infections are awful. I got one on my left side in the hospital after my double mastectomy three months ago. Although I had a blood transfusion (2 units), the infection had already started so I know I didn't get it from that. In spite of being on antibiotics, the infection progressed quickly. On the 3rd day they switched me to IV vancomycin, a very strong drug that is the toughest they've got.  It worked and began to stop the progression and even reverse some of the "iffy" places. Unfortunately, a lot of skin, muscle, and soft tissue was already dead. I had a second surgery to remove parts of three muscles, most of the tissue and lymph nodes under my arm and along my side. I lost about a quarter of the skin covering one of the implants, so that was taken out and a tissue expander placed. I stayed on the IV antibiotics at home for another month.

Now that I'm healed and the tissue expander full, I go back in tomorrow for surgery #3. The plastic surgeon will do some procedure to give me more range of motion on the "bad side", replace the tissue expander with a new kind of implant, and replace the implant on the "good side" with a matching new kind of implant. I'm scared to death of another infection!

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