Transfusion medicine
Transfusion reaction

Topic Completed: 1 September 2011

Minor changes: 15 February 2019

Copyright: 2002-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Transfusion reaction [title] "loattrfree full text"[sb]

Huy Phu Pham, M.D., M.P.H.
Page views in 2019: 283
Page views in 2020 to date: 102
Cite this page: Pham, H.P. Transfusion reaction - general. website. Accessed May 28th, 2020.
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
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