How are transfusion reactions prevented?

Updated: Jan 12, 2021
  • Author: S Gerald Sandler, MD, FCAP, FACP; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Persons known to have formed red cell alloantibodies as the result of previous transfusions or pregnancy should be informed and provided with a written report that lists the antibodies to be presented to the transfusion service if additional transfusions are required at another hospital.

Ask patients scheduled for red cell transfusions about any history of previous transfusions and if they are aware of any complications or blood bank antibody problems.

Obtain details of any previous transfusions during the medical history or when obtaining the patient's informed consent for a transfusion.

In cases of transfusion reaction, retype the donor and recipient RBCs. A discrepancy between the original ABO type and the repeat ABO typings should raise the urgent question of whether a mix-up of blood samples could place another patient at risk of a similar mismatched transfusion.

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