The key difference between infusion and transfusion is that infusion is the introduction of a solution into the body through a vein, while transfusion is the introduction of blood into the body through a vein.
Infusion and transfusion are two processes in which solutions, nutrients, blood, or medicines can be introduced to a body. Both processes are important in medications and used as an alternative for oral medications. Infusion and transfusion are important in illnesses where purification of the blood is essential and beneficial for health.
What is Infusion?
Infusion is the introduction of a solution into the body through a vein. Infusion takes place when a fluid is administered into the body intravenously (IV) or other non-oral routes such as intramuscular or epidural, using a needle or catheter. It is a process of medication that should be dispensed at a controlled place. Infusion also is epidural, intramuscular, and subcutaneous. Infusion is considered as an alternative for medications that cannot be taken orally. Some drugs are not effective when taken orally. Thus, infusion of medicines takes place for effective cure. Infusion of saline takes place to keep one hydrated and to have other medicines delivered faster. Insulin pump is also a method of infusion. Infusion can be used to deliver many nutrients and many medications such as antibiotics, chemotherapy, growth hormones, immunotherapy, blood factors, corticosteroids, etc.
Infusion is often used as it facilitates controlled dosing in medications. For example, in chemotherapy, the drug is dripped slowly into the bloodstream. But, in conditions such as heart attack, strokes, or poisoning, the drugs need to reach the bloodstream quickly. Infusion also has complications such as infiltration, hematoma, an air embolism, phlebitis, extravascular drug administration, and intra-arterial injection, etc.
What is Transfusion?
Transfusion is the process by which blood is transferred or introduced into a patient’s bloodstream through a vein. Blood transfusion takes place through an intravenous catheter in the arm. Transfusion is the process of adding blood to the body due to an illness or injury. Transfusion usually takes place for 1 to 4 hours. It is usually carried out during major surgery or serious injury, illnesses like leukemia and anemia, liver, or kidney problems, etc. Modern transfusions use components of blood such as red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, clotting factors, and plasma. But early transfusions used whole blood, which consists of all components of blood as a whole.
During a transfusion, a compatibility test is done between the donor and recipient. Therefore, as the initial step of transfusion, blood bank screens for the blood type and Rh – factor. Then tests take place to screen for alloantibodies that may react with donor blood. In a transfusion, the recipient’s blood should match the donor’s blood, from the types A, B, AB, or O. If not, it leads to other complications if the antibodies in our own blood attacks it. Such complications are grouped as immunological or infectious. Immunological reactions are acute hemolytic reactions, delayed hemolytic reactions, allergic transfusion reactions, anaphylactic reactions, transfusion-related acute lung injury, transfusion-associated circulatory overload, etc. Moreover, infectious reactions include transfusion-transmitted bacterial infection, hepatitis, syphilis, Chagas disease, cytomegalovirus infection, etc.
What are the Similarities Between Infusion and Transfusion?
- Infusion and transfusion introduce to the bloodstream through a vein in the body.
- Both infusion and transfusion are intravenous and non-oral.
- Infusion and transfusion complications show similar complications such as discomfort, fever, headache, nausea, and tiredness.
- They are administered through IV drips.
What is the Difference Between Infusion and Transfusion?
Infusion is the introduction of nutrients, medication, drugs, or saline for disease and illness, while transfusion is the introduction of blood to the body during an injury or illness. So, this is the key difference between infusion and transfusion. During the transfusion, it is important to check the compatibility of blood types of donors and recipients, but during infusion, it is not needed.
The below infographic summarizes the differences between infusion and transfusion in tabular form.
Summary – Infusion vs Transfusion
Infusion is the administration of drugs or solutions into the body. Infusion can take place intravenously as well as subcutaneously. Infusion is used as a medication for pain management, cancer, and the treatment of infectious diseases. It is a process of medication that should be dispensed at a controlled place. Infusion can be used to deliver many nutrients, and many medications such as antibiotics, chemotherapy, growth hormones, immunotherapy, blood factors, corticosteroids Transfusion is the process of transferring blood into the body. Transfusion takes place intravenously. Transfusion is used to replace the lost components of blood in a body. Transfusion is the introduction of blood into a patient’s bloodstream through a vein. In a transfusion, the recipient’s blood should match the donor’s blood from types A, B, AB, or O. Thus, this is the summary of what is the difference between infusion and transfusion.
1. “Blood transfusion: Purpose, procedure, risks, complications” WebMed.
2. “Infusion therapy: What is it, what conditions does it treat?” Healthline.