Blood Products and Blood Counts

"Do you know ..." is an educational series for patients and their families.

Blood clot facts and treatment

A blood clot is blood that becomes a solid instead of a liquid. Clotting is normally a good thing. It protects you from bleeding too much. But sometimes you can get a clot that is bigger than normal and not in the right place. These kinds of clots need to be treated.

Blood counts

Blood is made up of cells in a liquid called plasma. Blood cells are made in the bone marrow (the soft center of the bones). In patients with cancer, counting and studying blood cells can tell the staff about a patient's disease and how to treat it.

Blood counts and sickle cell disease

If your child has sickle cell disease, counting and studying blood cells can tell the St. Jude staff about your child’s disease and how to treat it. A complete blood count (CBC) is a test that tells your child’s doctor about all 3 types of blood cells: red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells.

Calculating the ANC

ANC - The Absolute Neutrophil Count gives your child's medical team an estimate of the body's ability to fight infections, especially bacterial infections.

Receiving a blood transfusion

A blood transfusion may be needed if your child's blood or specific blood parts are at dangerously low levels. A transfusion can replace what is missing.

Symptoms of a blood product transfusion reaction

If your child receives blood or blood products, watch for these symptoms of a possible transfusion reaction.