Before knowing the risk and safety measures of blood transfusion one should know what blood transfusion is.
This red coloured fluid running around our body is key component to life. It carries oxygen proteins and nutrients along with the defensive cells that keeps us alive. When your blood level goes abnormally low and your body is unable to cope, you need a blood transfusion donated by the right donor.
Blood transfusion can be of a specific component of blood like either RBCs, WBC’s, plasma or Platelets and, it can be of a whole blood too though it is not very common.
But, before the blood get transfused, one should be fully aware of their blood group. It is crucial and make it easy to find the right donor. The blood donated must be of same group that you have ( A, B, AB, or O). If you are B and got the type A, your body will make antibodies against it and ultimately cause problems.
For maximum safety the 4 R’s must be followed i.e. right patient, right blood donor, right time and right place.
This is one of the safety reasons why blood banks first determine the blood group and Rh factor (positive or negative) as most errors occur when the patient is wrongly identified. Well, hospitals guidelines should be followed for safe transfusion throughout the procedure and preventing errors.
Before the blood get transfused, presence of any micro organism must be checked in order to avoid any later infections in the patient receiving blood. The goal is to save life not to make it more worse.
However, before the transfusion get started it is part of safety rules to have the consent of patient along with patients compatibility test report, blood unit label and patient wrist band in order to avoid risk of wrong transfusion and further complications.
The consent and patient information is utterly important to avoid fatal mis transfusions.
While, agitated patient must be avoided or fully monitored while getting the blood transfused or they can hurt themselves or complicate the procedure!
The blood components or whole blood should be transfused within 4hrs of duration or it will risk bacterial growth. If right time is not followed there is a risk of developing blood borne infections.
There must be a transfusion prescriptions with the date, components needed to get transfused, its volume or units, or any other specific requirements according to patient condition.
The collection and administration should be done professionally with complete documentation.
The plastic bags containing blood and IV syringes through which the blood in infused must also be sterile for patient’s safety and health.
Body temperature, blood pressure, respiration rate and pulsation must be maintained in normal ranges, while patients who are at risk of heart failure should be transfused blood slowly and in divided portions.
To avoid transfusion reactions like chills and shivering, the patient must kept warm.
Post transfusion monitoring should be done within 60 mins. The patient should be fully guided about the later symptoms that may possibly develop and require further check.
People might get allergic reaction at the site of injection but it will go with time. Fever, shortness of breath or back ache are also common but it is important to have blood testing to check how your body is reacting to donor’s blood.
Request of out of hours transfusions or overnight infusions must be refused because of increased chances of errors.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!