Informed consent

Always obtain and document consent from your patient.

Check your local institutional guidelines about informed consent.

Always cover the following when acquiring informed consent:

Explain

  • Cause/likelihood of bleeding or the low blood count (including any uncertainty)

  • Nature of the proposed transfusion therapy—what is involved

  • Benefits expected

  • Risks common and rare but serious

  • Alternatives including the risk of doing nothing.

Ask

  • Is there anything else you would like to know?

  • Is there anything you do not understand?

Provide

  • Interpreter for non-English speaking patients

  • Written information.