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Busting Blood Transfusion Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

Blood transfusion has a long history, and throughout the centuries, various myths and misconceptions have emerged regarding the practice. Here are some of the myths related to blood transfusion:

Myths on Blood Transfusion

Mixing of Blood

One common myth is the belief that when two individuals receive a blood transfusion, their blood permanently mixes together. In reality, during a blood transfusion, only the necessary components of blood, such as red blood cells, plasma, or platelets, are transfused. These components fulfill their respective functions and do not permanently merge with the recipient's blood. (1)

Personality Transfer

There is a myth that receiving a blood transfusion can lead to a change in personality or behavior. This notion is rooted in the idea that blood carries an individual's character traits. However, personality traits are determined by complex factors, including genetics, upbringing, and personal experiences, rather than the blood itself. (2)

a clinician testing a blood sample before the blood transfusion
Blood should be tested adequately before any transfusion

Disease Transmission

Another persistent myth is the fear of acquiring diseases through blood transfusion. This concern was more prevalent in the past when screening methods were less advanced. However, modern blood banks and transfusion services have stringent protocols in place to screen donated blood for infectious agents such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, and other pathogens. The risk of acquiring a disease through a blood transfusion is extremely low in developed countries. (3)(4)

Blood Replacement

Some people believe that blood transfusion can serve as a complete replacement for their blood, providing all the necessary elements for bodily functions. While transfusion can help replace lost blood volume and certain components, it does not provide the complete array of functions performed by the body's own blood, such as immune responses or the production of new blood cells. (5)


(1) “Blood Transfusion Process.” Blood Transfusion Procedure Information | Red Cross Blood Services, Accessed 12 June 2023.

(2) “It Matters Where It Comes from: Some People Wary of Organ, Blood Donations Depending on Source.” Princeton University, Accessed 12 June 2023.

(3) “The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.” The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Accessed 12 June 2023.

(4) “Risks and Complications.” Blood Transfusions Side Effects and Reactions | Red Cross, Accessed 12 June 2023.

(5) NHS Choices, Accessed 13 June 2023.


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