Monitoring and observation

Monitor and record temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate (TPR) and blood pressure (BP) prior to transfusion, 15 minutes after commencement, and on completion of each pack (or as otherwise stipulated by health service policy).

Closely observe the patient for the first 15 minutes of each pack as life-threatening reactions may occur even with only a small volume of blood is transfused.

Continue to observe the patient regularly throughout the transfusion. When a patient is not under continuous visual observation, consider attending the patient for first 30 minutes.

Refer to health service policy for any additional observations. A typical stipulation is observations (TPR, BP) hourly during transfusion.

Need for more frequent observations will depend on patient’s clinical status.

Monitor patient closely during and after transfusion for signs of reactions. Discontinue the transfusion if an adverse reaction occurs and initiate appropriate therapy without delay.

Do not resume transfusion without a thorough clinical review.

Immediately report all significant adverse reactions of transfusion, including possible bacterial contamination of a blood component or suspected disease transmission, to the transfusing facility’s laboratory or blood bank and the Blood Service.

In the case of a transfusion reaction, retain the remainder of any implicated blood components for further investigation.