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The Definition of Blood Transfusion


Blood transfusion is a technique that replaces blood that was lost after injury or surgery, or it can be used to replace blood, which does not maintain its function properly. A person might need a blood transfusion in case of sickle cell disease, anemia, and clotting disorder such as cancer or hemophilia (Blood transfusion, n.d.). Sometimes this technique can save a life if a person is in critical condition. There are four types of products in the blood packed red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. Packed red blood cells (PRBC) are cells that are separated from the blood for transfusion. A patient might need PRBC in case of having hemoglobin disorders or receiving cancer chemotherapy. If there is a required transfusion, a patient should be screened not only for hemoglobin level but also in the overall context so that in case of hematinic deficiency, it is treated without transfusion. Blood plasma contains important components such as clotting factors, antibodies, proteins fibrinogen, and albumin. Patients might need plasma transfusion in case of burns, trauma, shock, and other emergencies. It can also be used to treat hemophilia and autoimmune disorders. Platelets, or thrombocytes, are small cell fragments with no pigment that participate in the clotting process and prevent bleeding. Patients who suffer from different types of cancer, such as leukemia, have a low concentration of platelets in the blood as a result of chemotherapy treatment. They have to receive platelet transfusion regularly to maintain a stable condition of the body. Oxygen saturation is a measurement of the amount of hemoglobin bound to oxygen in comparison to the unbound hemoglobin. In the case of anemia, the hemoglobin level is low. However, its saturation with oxygen is not affected and remains stable (95%). That is why the finding that a pulse oximetry reading of the patient with anemia is in the high 80’s is not expected.

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A Spider Bite Case

The initial diagnosis might be bleeding disorder and anaphylaxis because of the spider poison. Anaphylaxis is a severe and extreme allergic reaction, which affects the whole body and is caused by an allergen. Anaphylaxis symptoms include a rash on the body, swelling in mouth and throat, difficulty in speaking or swallowing, altered heart rate, asthma, nausea and vomiting, and unconsciousness (Signs and symptoms, n.d.). Mike had low blood pressure, which explains cold skin, elevated heart rate, and low oxygen saturation in the blood, which resulted in respiratory distress, so these are the symptoms of anaphylaxis. Bleeding from the bite site, nostrils, and catheter can be the signs of bleeding disorder caused by the poison. The diagnostic tests that can be performed are bleeding time measurement, prothrombin, and clotting time measurement attributable to bleeding disorders. To confirm anaphylaxis, histamine and tryptase tests can be performed. Serum tryptase serves as a marker of degranulation of mast cells (Tryptase, n.d.). It is used to assess cases of anaphylactic reactions, but it cannot distinguish between anaphylactoid reactions and anaphylaxis. The values in all these tests are expected to be high in Mike’s case. Some of the suggested treatments are treatments of wounds that are local, antihistamine, and corticosteroid administration. Corticosteroids induce anti-inflammatory effects acting through cytosolic or membrane-bound receptors (Liyanage et al., 2017). Although there is a small number of clinical trials related to the effect of corticosteroid on reducing symptoms of anaphylaxis because of its emergence nature, it is widely used by specialists. Fresh plasma infusion can also be administered to correct the level and composition of the blood as it contains salts and proteins important for blood homeostasis. 100% of oxygen has to be administered through a face mask to replenish the level of oxygen. Finally, dopamine and atropine can be infused to maintain heart rate and blood pressure.


Tuberculosis is a disease that affects the lungs and is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis can spread in the air droplets from person to person. When people sneeze, cough, or spit, the infectious particles are released and can infect others. In the case of natural disasters such as hurricanes, there is an increased possibility for the transmission of the disease. Living in close proximity to one another, lack of clean water, living in a crowded place, and having no hygiene significantly increases the risk of developing tuberculosis. According to the WHO, about 25% of the world population has tuberculosis, which means people are carriers of the infection but are not ill yet (Tuberculosis, 2020). Thus, the conditions mentioned above may lead to the outbreak of the disease.

Tuberculosis bacteria can develop drug-resistance by means of genetic mutations. Some other mechanisms that lead to the development of resistance are through cell walls, drug inactivating and modifying enzymes. Lipids on the surface of cell walls serve as a barrier against drug molecules. Drug inactivating and modifying enzymes usually acetylate, phosphorylate, or adenylate drug substances. People can contribute to the development of drug resistance in tuberculosis bacteria by mismanaging or misusing drugs. For example, healthcare providers might prescribe the wrong medication, patients might not complete the full regime of tuberculosis drugs, or the quality of drugs might be low.

To identify whether a body was exposed to tuberculosis infection or not, the Mantoux skin test can be performed. In this case, Mary was found positive for this test, and it means that she was in contact with the infected person at some point in the past, and now she has an inactive, or latent, form of the disease. Thus, the results of the test do not mean that the person has tuberculosis, but what it means is that the person was exposed to the environment where the pathogen was present.

Common Cold, Influenza, and Pneumonia

The symptoms of the common cold include muscle ache, nasal congestion, running nose, fever, and symptoms like sore throat, sinusitis, cough, and headache. In the case of influenza, in addition to the symptoms mentioned above, an individual might have anorexia, dyspnoea, dehydration (Pokorski, 2017). By looking at these signs, it is possible to identify whether a patient has a common cold or influenza. Pneumonia is an inflammatory or infectious disease of tissue of lung parenchyma caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria. Bacteria such as pneumococcus, staphylococcus, and streptococcus cause pneumonia in most cases. The disease can be treated by antibiotic drugs, such as those including ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin. When treating pneumonia, it is important to maintain hydration status, perform mucolytic nebulization and chest physiotherapy. Coughing exercises and deep breathing can be used as additional therapy to oxygenate the lungs.

To prevent influenza, it is essential to enhance the immune system by regular uptake of supplements. The vaccine against the influenza virus should also be administered every year (Pokorski, 2017). People should comply with personal hygiene requirements, especially hand hygiene, as the infection can be transmitted this way. If an individual has low immunity, he or she should wear a mask for protection. Antiviral drugs can be prescribed not only in case of infection but also as an immunomodulating substance. The recommendations for pneumonia prevention are similar to those for influenza prevention. Hands should be washed before and after meals and defecation. Everything that lowers the activity of the immune system should be avoided, such as cold, alcohol, and cigarettes. The diet should consist of more vegetables and fruits, and they have to be properly washed. These products contain essential vitamins and minerals that help to fight against pathogens. Finally, in case of noticing even mild symptoms, the person should book an appointment with a doctor.

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Blood transfusion. (n.d.). National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 2020, Web.

Liyanage, C. K., Galappatthy, P., & Seneviratne, S. L. (2017). Corticosteroids in management of anaphylaxis: A systematic review of evidence. European Annals of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 49(5), 196-207.

Pokorski, M. (Ed.). (2017). Influenza and respiratory care (1st ed.). Springer International Publishing.

Signs and symptoms. (n.d.). Anaphylaxis campaign. 2020, Web.

Tryptase. (n.d.). National Health Service. 2020, Web.

Tuberculosis. (2020). World Health Organization. Web.

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