Section II. ADVERSE EFFECTS OF BLOOD TRANSFUSION
a. A transfusion reaction is any unfavorable event occurring in a patient during
or following transfusion of blood products which can be related to that transfusion.
Since compatibility testing is performed for the detection of antibodies to RBC antigens,
adverse effects of transfusion are most commonly caused by leukocytes, platelets, and
plasma proteins. In addition, every transfusion carries a risk of alloimmunization as well
as transmission of disease. All the care in cross-matching blood in the laboratory can
be negated by the administration of blood to the wrong patient.
b. All transfusion reactions should be reported to the blood bank and evaluated
to the extent considered appropriate by its Medical Director. Major adverse effects, for
example, hemolytic transfusion reactions and disease transmission, must be reported to
the Bureau of Biologics, Food, and Drug Administration.
c. Whenever a transfusion reaction involving more than just hives is suspected,
the transfusion should be immediately discontinued, but the intravenous Iine kept open.
The remaining blood, a new sample from the recipient, plus the reaction report, should
be sent to the blood bank for prompt investigation. The detailed clinical management of
adverse effects of blood transfusion may be obtained elsewhere, but Table 3-4 contains
suggested treatment regimens.