How is bacterial contamination (sepsis) transfusion reaction managed?

Updated: Jan 12, 2021
  • Author: S Gerald Sandler, MD, FCAP, FACP; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Bacterial contamination (sepsis) is managed as follows:

  • Immediately discontinue the transfusion, including all tubing, filters, and administration sets, and save the transfusion materials for cultures, while preserving venous access.

  • After appropriate blood cultures have been obtained, initiate treatment with intravenous broad-spectrum antibiotics. If a microbiologic stain or a culture of the contents of the transfused product identifies an organism, the initial broad-spectrum antibacterial approach may be modified accordingly.

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