Transfusion medicine
General
Transfusion reaction

Author: Huy Phu Pham, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 20 October 2017, last major update September 2011

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

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Cite this page: Pham, H.P. Transfusion reaction - general. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://pathologyoutlines.com/topic/transfusionmedtransfusionreactgen.html. Accessed October 23rd, 2017.
Definition / general
  • Can be identified during or after the transfusion
  • The goal is to rule out hemolytic transfusion reaction
During the transfusion
  • Stop the transfusion
  • Keep IV line open with saline
  • Contact the physician on call for immediate assessment of the patient
  • Monitor vital signs closely
  • Report to blood bank / transfusion service
  • Should provide the on call transfusion medicine physician with:
    • Patient’s name, medical record number
    • Blood type and history of antibody
    • Transfusion history, including pregnancy, history of transfusions and transfusion in the past 3 months
    • Type of product transfused
    • Amount of product transfused
    • Patient’s symptoms and the temporal relationship to transfusion
    • Pre and posttransfusion vital signs
    • Premedication and treatment for the transfusion reaction (if any)
  • Blood bank should also perform clerical check, visual check for hemoglobinemia (comparing to pretransfusion sample), and DAT (direct antiglobulin test, also comparing to the pretransfusion sample)
  • Check patient and unit information for clerical errors
  • Send hemolysis labs, including posttransfusion CBC, total and direct bilirubin, LDH, haptoglobin, and UA with microscopic for hemoglobinuria
  • Document the transfusion reaction in the medical chart
  • Contact transfusion medicine physician on call regarding further release of blood products
  • Continue to observe the patient carefully
After the transfusion