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Blood Transfusion

Blood transfusion :
Transfer of Blood/ Blood component from
donors blood to receivers circulation
Goals :
- Improve circulation volume
- Improve Hb level
- Improve coagulation mechanism
Cautions :
- Appropriate indications
- Appropriate techniques
- Observations of sign of complications
- Prevention and therapy for complications

Type of Blood/Blood Component for transfusion

1. Whole Blood
* Fresh Blood, storing time 4-6 hours
advantages :
- complete caogulation factors
- good blood cell functions
disanvantages :
- impractical supply
- risk of infections transmission i.e lues, CMV

* New blood, storing time 3-4 days

advantages :
- easy suppliyng
disadvantages :
- coagulation factors, especially factor V and VIII
almost depleted ( high Hb affinity to O2
decreased O2 release from Hb to tissue)
- High concentration of K+, amonium and lactic

2. Red blood cell

advantages :
a. plasma is not given. Avoid circulation overload
b. hematocrit level could be tailored
c. hepatitis (infections) hazard avoided
d. advantages in patients with renal disease
e. allergic reactions decreased
f. autoimmun bodies reactions decreased
g. anticoagulant free
disadvantages :
a. possible infections hazard during preparation
b. short storing period, 4-6 hours.

Packed Red Cell

- made by separating/extracting plasma in close
methode until hematocrit level 70 80 %
Red Cell Suspensions
- made by mixing RBCs concentrate with solvent on
equal volume
Washed Red Cell
- made by washing RBC concentrate 2-3 times with
physiologic NaCl solution :
a. PNH (Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hb-uria)
b. Acquired Haemolytic Anemia
c. Exchange transfusion
d. Transfusion on renal transplant.

3. Thrombocyt
given to patients with thrombocyt deficits due to primary disease
or secondary due to bleeding.
Type of thrombocyt :
1. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
PRP made by separating plasma from fresh blood
2. Platelets Concentrate
Made by centrifuging PRP and separating its thrombocyt
Storing :
a. In 40 Celcius - good haemostatic, short life span
b. In 180 Celcius - poor hemostatic, better life span
Storing time 48 72 hours

4. Plasma
a. restore blood volume and circulation
b. replace and enhance blood proteins
c. replace and improve spesific plasma factor
* Liquid plasma
made by separating plasma from whole blood on packed red cell
preparation process
* Dry plasma
made by drying liquid plasma
Advantages :
- long storing time (3 years)
- easy transport
- room temperature storage
- no risk of lues infections
- independent of blood group
Disadvantages :
- higher risk of hepatitis infection due to collected from various donors.

* Fresh Frozen Plasma

made by separating plasma from fresh whole blood and
immediately freezed at minus 600 Celcius (CO2 ice)
storage :
- at temp. minus 300 C for 1 year
- at temp. minus 200 C for 6 months
ideally given on :
- bleeding cases
- as fresh whole bood replacement if mixed with packed
red cell

* Cryoprecipitate
made by freezing fresh frozen plasma at minus 600 C
and liquified at 4-6 C
advantages :
contains much amount of factor VIII and factor I
(fibrinogen). A bag of cryoprecipitate contains 130
units of Anti Hemophylic Factor (AHF)

Complications of Transfusion
1. Hemolytic Reaction
Red blood cell destructions occur producing free Hb in
plasma due to blood group incompatibility. If free Hb
level more than 25 %, Hb uria occur.
Acute :
-occur immediately when transfusion.
50 cc of incompatible blood enough to precipitate the

sign :
- hot sensation along the veins
- specific lumbal pain
- depressed chest feeling, dyspneu
- headache, flushing face
- raised body temp., nausea & vomitting
- during anesthesia :
tachypneu, hypotension, small pulse pressure, shock.
Diffuse bleeding from operative wound.
Laboratory :
- Hb-uria
- Peripheral blood preparate hemolytic sign
- Blood bilirubine
- Free Hb in plasma
- methemoglobine

Delayed :
Occur on patients who recieved frequent transfusion
or women who previously had delivered baby.
Reactions occur after several hours or days after
transfusion and commonly after transfusion of
second bag or more.

Therapy :

stop transfusion, change transfusion set

treat shock
shock position
plasma expander infusion
sodium bicarbonate
lasix / 20 % manitol
report to blood bank
* send back transfused blood
* send sample of patients blood
* patients urine
- control Hb level
* thrombocyt
* fibrinogen
- give compatible fresh blood

2. Non Hemolytic Reactions

1. Allergy
- antigen in donors blood will bound with its
antibody in recipients serum
- antibody which present in donors blood which
passively transfered by transfusion to recipient
therapy :
give antihistamine and corticosteroid on severe

2. Pyrogen reactions
sign :
- febrile (38-400 C)
- shivering, headache, pain on the whole body, restless untill

3. Bacterial containation reactions

- bacterial contamination





Sign :
- febrile, headache, shivering, vomitting, stomachache,
diarrhea to shock.
These sign occur during or immediately after transfusion
Therapy :
- stop transfusion
- treat shock (plasma expander, vasopressor, oxygen etc)

4. Overload
occur due to transfusion of relatively too high
volume in a short period.
For these reason, whole blood should be given
cautiously on some circumstances :
- anemia
- decreased cardiac reserve
- renal disease
- oedema

sign :
- headache, precardial pain, coughing, dyspneu,
heavy feeling on both arms, pulmonary rhales and
elevated neck veins
therapy :
For patients with overloading tendency :
- Infusion drips as slow as possible
(adult 12-30 drips/min, children 6-8 drips/min)
- diuretics before transfusion
- only blood component is given
- close observation during transfusion

5. Heart rhythm disturbances

mostly occur on rapid and massive transfusion of :
- cold blood
- elevated K+ level
- citrate toxicity
general therapy :
- slowing transfusion rate
specific therapy:
- blood heated to body temperature
- better if switch to fresh blood

6. Acidosis
On patients with acidosis tendency (i.e. renal
failure, ileus, septic conditions) administering
stored blood will worsening those condition, so
did massive transfusion.
Therapy :
-correction of acidosis with sodium bicarbonate

7. Kalium toxicity
due to elevated K+ level in blood which stored more than
10 days
- ECG changes
- Cardiac arrest danger
Prevention :
- administer fresh blood
therapy :
- enforce diuresis
- Glucose 5 % infusion + regular insuline 8-12 units

8. Citrate toxicity
especially on massive transfusion (>2 liters) on patients with
poor hepatic function, where citrate will bound to Ca ++ ion.
Sign :
- tetany, tremor, ECG disturbances to cardiac arrest
therapy :
- Ca gluconate i.v or CaCl2 1 gram every 1000 ml of blood

9. Coagulation disorder
especially on massive transfusion with stored
blood, due to reduced thrombocyt and other
coagulation factors.
Therapy :
- administering 1 unit of FFP or
cryoprecipitate for every 5 unit of whole

10. Hyperammonium
- amonium blood level increase after 5-7 days and
reach maximal level after 3 weeks of storage
therapy :
- administering fresh blood.

11. Air embolism

due to technical error, especially on transfusion
with pressured bag
therapy :
- positioning the patient laterally to cardiac side
- shock positioning

12. Transmission of disease

* Hepatitis
sign & symptoms appear 2-3 months after transfusion
sign :
icterus, hepatomegaly, spleenomegaly
therapy :
-immuniglobuline, diet to improve hepatic functions
prevention :
Donor is not accepted before 5 years of convalescence

* Malaria
sign appear after 1-10 days afer transfusion
prevention :
Donor is not accepted under 2 years from last attack.
therapy :
- antimalarial drugs
* Syphylis
sign appear 9-10 weeks post transfusion and manifest
as stage II skin lesions.

Methods for estimating blood loss

1. Measuring Gauzes Weight
Blood loss equal to gauze weight difference before and after used
(1 gram equal to 1 ml blood)
2. Calori meter
Used gauze washed with standardized water and ammonium
3. Visual Estimation
Could be done by an experts. Blood clot of a fist size equal to about
liter of blood.
4. Measuring blood on suction apparatus
Sometimes difficult due to other liquid mixing or suction rinsing with
5. Patients clinical conditions
Difficult due to anesthetic drug alter clinical response to bleeding

Transfusion techniques
1. Infusion set preparation
Infus set must be equipped with filter
Infusion needle gauge should be appropriate to
intended rate of transfusion
a. easily damage venous wall, causing swollen tissue
b. commonly use on babies,easy fixation
c. plastic catheter with stylet inside, if already
inserted, will not damage the vein easily

3. Inserting infusion set

a. notify the patient if an infusion will be inserted
b. If possoble, choose a large- straight vein which not
locate on ajoint
c. Stagnate the vein
d. Do not attemp/reattemp on acollapsed vein
e. Fixation
Better if on three locations
- on the root of the catheter
- on rubber plastic junction
- on transparant plastic hose
f. Use splint
g. On emergency conditions could inserted > 1 infusion
h. Build patients cooperation, on conscious patients
i. on emergency condition
j. all procedure must be done under sterile conditions

3. Blood bag preparation

a. Must be carefull !
patients identity, blood group, cross-match
result, bag label number, blood plasma colour,
any blood clot
b. Do not shake blood bag
c. Before transfused, blood should be warmed
d. Blood must keep refrigerated before use
e. Blood bag which already perforated, must
immediately transfused

4. On transfusing blood
a. Note! Blood pressure, heart rate, respiration
and patinets temperature
b. Before transfusing blood, give NaCl infusion
c. If blood drips stagnant, change transfusion set
d. During first 15 minutes, patients should be
carefully monitored
e. During transfusion, blood pressure &
respiration must be monitored

5. Rate of transfusion
a. On massive bleeding, administer blood as fast
as possible (1500 ml in 15 minutes)
b. On normovolemic patients :
adult : 500 ml / 5-6 hours
children : depend on body weight and age

6. Tricks for enhancing blood transfusion


Put blood bag as high as possible

Insert big bore catheter
Give pressure to blood bag
Injecting blood on the catheter