Blood is the body's transportation system. It flows continuously to deliver oxygen, nutrients and other substances to tissues and carry away waste products. It also plays an important role in defence against infectious diseases.
If someone (temporarily) needs extra blood or specific blood components, a blood transfusion is performed. A blood transfusion is more than simply administering blood to patients. The donated blood is collected and stored in the blood bank. The blood is tested and processed into specific blood products: red blood cells, platelets, plasma and medicines from plasma.
An important factor in transfusions is the type of red blood cells. Red blood cells differ from person to person, and cannot always be combined. That is why blood is categorised into types, which are always taken into account during transfusions.
Blood is a rich source of components essential for life. Both blood cells and many important proteins from blood can serve as medicines and are used for a large number of often life-threatening illnesses and procedures.