It can be an icky thought to imagine some one else’s blood flowing through your own veins. Blood is one of the bodily fluids through which all sorts of diseases can be transmitted. And adding to the weird factor,blood carries a persons DNA.
But when it’s the matter of life and death, another person’s blood could be the only option. Transfusions are a common procedure. The process of blood transfusions can be due to injuries or surgeries that causes blood loss, bleeding disorders like haemophilia in which the blood does not clot properly, Infections that inhibit the body’s ability to make blood, and other illnesses like anemia, cancer and auto immune disorders.
Although scientist in Singapore have recently found a way to turn skin cells into blood cells in rats, that method has yet to be tested on humans. With the exception of some people who can donate blood ahead of an elective surgery to then be transfused back into their bodies afterward, the blood will come from a kind hearted donor. The good news is that there will be no change and you will continue being yourself after receiving donor blood.
When the donor blood is mixed into the body with a transfusion that persons DNA will be present in your body for some days, but its presence is unlikely to alter genetic tests significantally. It is likely minimized because the majority of blood is red cells which do not carry DNA where the white blood cells do carry. The publication Scientific American said that studies have shown that highly sensitive equipment can pick up donor DNA from blood transfusions up to a week after the procedure, but with particular large transfusions donor white blood cells were present for up to a year and half afterward.
The major risk from a blood transfusion comes from the body's reaction to the strange blood. There can be a allergic reaction, fever an overload of iron in the body, or a serious but rare condition in which the white blood cells of the donor blood attack your bone marrow , a form of graft versus host disease. It is more likely to affect people with severly weakened immune systems such as those being treated for leukemia or lymphoma. It is also unlikely for the donor to be carrying an infection as blood bank screens for those but in exteremely rare cases it may transmit HIV or hepatitis.