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Transfusion essay March 2007

Page history last edited by James Davies 11 years, 1 month ago

Prepare a patient information leaflet about blood transfusion, intended for adult patients scheduled for elective surgery attending a pre-admission clinic approximately 1 month prior to the date of admission.


1. Indications for blood transfusion


  • Not always necessary – only if required
  • Blood loss – if the amount lost is greater than the body can tolerate


2. Reducing need for transfusion


  • Pre-op optimisation of haemoglobin– iron, folate or B12 replacement
  • Check your medication - 
  • Cell salvage intra op


3. How blood is given


  • Intravenous either during the operation or on the day afterwards (may take up to 4 hours per unit) 


4. Symptoms during transfusion


  • Most asymptomatic
  • Regular observations
  • Temperature, chill or rash – paracetamol and slow transfusion
  • Severe reactions extremely rare


5. Side effects


  • Wrong blood - 2m units transfused each year, only a handful of cases
  • Infections HepB (1in 500 000), HIV (1in 5m), Hep C (1 in 30m), bacterial contamination
  • vCJD – probably very low
  •  Fluid overload
  • TRALI 


6. Concerns / contacts


  • Doctor on ward 
  • Hospital transfusion practitioner
  • NBS, national patient safety agency


7. Possibly paragraph for Jehovah's witnesses

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