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Transfusion medicine

Transfusion side effects

Massive transfusion

Reviewer: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 11 November 2011, last major update October 2011
Copyright: (c) 2007-2011, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Transfusion greater than 1 blood volume (70 mL/kg in adults, 85-100 mL/kg in neonates) or 10 units of blood in an adult in 24 hours
● May cause coagulopathy due to decrease in fibrinogen, also acidosis (Chest 2010;137:209)
● May cause hypothermia if red cells are not warmed prior to transfusion, leading to prolongation of PT and PTT and impaired platelet function
● Onset and severity of coagulopathy may differ in elective surgery versus trauma (Vox Sang 2005;89:123)
● Needed for 3-5% of trauma patients
● Extensive departmental coordination required to implement protocols (J Trauma 2010;68:1498)
● Standardized massive transfusion protocols for substantial hemorrhage: able to be executed rapidly with reduction in waste of blood products (Transfus Med Rev 2011;25:293)


Massive transfusion protocols (MTP)

End of Transfusion Medicine > Transfusion side effects > Massive transfusion

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