Last updated: Saturday, 13, November, 2010
|Key Information||Appropriate Tests|
Donor suitability is determined initially by questionnaire ± interview. Blood group, blood group antibody screen; haemoglobin; hepatitis B virus testing (HBsAg), hepatitis C virus testing (HCV antibody); HIV antibodies (HIV-1 and HIV-2); syphilis testing - serum; HTLV-I antibodies and HTLV-II antibodies. The same testing is required for donors of autologous and directed blood transfusions. Cytomegalovirus antibodies if blood is being collected for recipients at high risk of CMV infection eg neonates, patients with bone marrow or organ transplants.
Meticulous attention to patient identification and specimen labelling is required. (See current Guidelines for pretransfusion testing, ANZSBT)
Blood group, blood group antibody screen, compatibility testing (cross-match) against group compatible donor cells. See transfusion.com.au
1-3% of plasma infusions.
Urticaria and hives in absence of other symptoms or signs.
Anaphylactioid or anaphylactic reactions
1:20 000-70 000
See also Anaphylaxis.
Immunoglobulins G, A, M; consider possibility of selective IgA deficiency in recipient - anti IgA antibodies.
Ingested substances (eg drugs, food, chemicals) present in donor plasma may cause adverse reactions in the recipient. Skin prick allergen testing and/or allergen specific immunoglobulin E in recipient, as indicated from history.
Febrile nonhaemolytic transfusion reactions
Up to 1% of patients
Delayed haemolytic transfusion reaction
Usually due to previous sensitisation to red cell antigens (eg, prior transfusion, pregnancy); the antibody may be at low titre and undetectable in the initial blood group antibody screen.
Usually occurs 4-14 days post transfusion.
FBC, blood film, reticulocyte count; direct antiglobulin test.
Repeat blood group antibody screen on pre- (if available) and post-transfusion serum. Bilirubin, LD, haptoglobin.
Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI)
Diagnosis is clinical. Presents with respiratory distress, tachycardia and fever, hypotaxia. CXR shows a "white out" with diffuse alveolar and interstitial infiltrates.
Usually due to leucoagglutinating or HLA specific antibodies in transfused plasma. HLA antibodies (donor); HLA typing (recipient).
~1:12 000-77 000
Cease transfusion immediately; resuscitate and investigate. Check patient's identity against the identification information on the blood pack and transfusion form. Return blood pack and giving set to laboratory with 10 mL clotted blood from patient for repeat blood group, blood group antibody screen, compatibility testing. The blood group, antibody screen and compatibility testing are also repeated on the pre-transfusion sample. Also, collect blood for FBC, blood film, direct antiglobulin test, haptoglobin, Schumm's test. Collect the first urine passed for haemoglobin - urine. See also DIC
A similar clinical syndrome may result from microbial contamination of a blood unit: see below.
Graft versus host disease
Due to engraftment and proliferation of allogeneic T lymphocytes: HLA typing on donor and recipient. Typically occurs in severely immunocompromised individuals (eg after blood/marrow stem cell transplant), but has been reported after directed donations from relatives in immunocompetent recipients. Directed donations are routinely irradiated (minimum 25 Gy) before administration.
Profound thrombocytopenia approximately 1 week after transfusion. Platelet antigen typing, platelet antibodies (recipient).
Bleeding during transfusion
Immediate haemolytic transfusion reaction. Bacterial contamination of blood unit
Excessive bleeding may be an early sign of an ABO incompatible transfusion or of septicaemia from bacterial contamination of the transfused blood unit, especially in an anaesthetised patient.
>10 units of packed cells in <24 hours in an adult.
Clinical severity of bleeding is often more than can be explained by dilution of platelets and coagulation factors: FBC (thrombocytopenia), PT, APTT.
Hypothermia is a common contributor to microvascular ooze and DIC.
Hyperkalaemia is commonly due to acidosis rather than to rate of transfusion.
|Citrate toxicity is rarely a serious problem except with very rapid rates of transfusion: ionised calcium - plasma or serum; total calcium is misleading due to binding of calcium by citrate in transfused plasma.|
Transfusion transmitted infections
The figures below detail the estimated risk for the period July 2000 to June 2003. These estimates were provided by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) in May 2005, and estimates are updated from time to time on the Australian Red Cross website.
~1:100 000 for platelets.
Platelet concentrates most frequently implicated. Blood culture collected from recipient and donor blood pack; see Septicaemia An immediate haemolytic transfusion reaction must be excluded.
Virus and testing standard:
Point estimate of residual risk 'per unit':
HIV 1 and 2 antibody only
1 in 2,404,000
HIV antibody + NAT
1 in 7,299,000
HCV antibody only
1 in 330,000
HCV antibody + NAT
1 in 3,663,000
1 in 1,339,000
HTLV l and ll
Increasing risk with tranfusion of >20 units.