Blood Treatments

Medicines to kill bacteria and parasites can treat blood infections caused by these organisms.

Medicines to "thin" the blood and prevent clotting in people at high risk from blood clots. Heparin, enoxaparin (Lovenox) and warfarin (Coumadin) are the medicines most often used

Antiplatelet drugs
Aspirin and clopidogrel (Plavix) interfere with platelet function and help prevent blood clots, including those that cause heart attacks and strokes.

Blood transfusion
A blood donor's red blood cells are separated from their plasma and packed into a small bag. Transfusing the concentrated red blood cells into a recipient replaces blood loss.

In people with problems caused by too much blood (such as from hemochromatosis or polycythemia), occasional controlled removal of blood may be necessary.

Medicines that kill cancer cells. Leukemias and lymphomas are usually treated with chemotherapy.

Specific proteins are separated from blood and frozen in a small volume of liquid. Cryoprecipitate transfusion can replace specific blood clotting proteins when their levels are low, such as in people with hemophilia.

A hormone produced by the kidney that stimulates red blood cell production. A manufactured form of erythropoietin can be given to improve the symptoms of anemia.

Fresh frozen plasma transfusion
A blood donor's plasma (liquid blood) is separated from the blood cells, and frozen for storage. Plasma transfusion can improve blood clotting and prevent or stop bleeding that's due to clotting problems.

Platelet transfusion
A blood donor's platelets are separated from the rest of blood and concentrated into a plastic bag. Platelet transfusion is generally only performed when platelet counts fall to very low levels.

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