Guidelines for Transfusion Therapy

These practice guidelines are intended as an educational guide. They describe clinical circumstances in which blood component administration may be considered. They are not intended to serve as absolute medical indications. Not all patients who, per these guidelines, are eligible for blood transfusion will actually benefit from one. A transfusion medicine physician is always available for consultation.

Clinicians should be aware of the infectious and noninfectious risks of transfusions along with the alternatives and potential benefits. Transfusions should be prescribed only when the benefits outweigh the risks. The clinician should record the reason for each transfusion and obtain informed consent prior to non-urgent transfusions. Clinicians should be prepared to manage an acute and delayed transfusion reaction.

Peer Review and Appropriate Use of Blood Components

Blood Bank staff routinely audit blood transfusions. Those ordered or given that do not meet audit criteria may be referred to a transfusion medicine physician who will evaluate the transfusion for clinical appropriateness. If the clinical indications are not consistent with the guidelines approved by the Transfusion Committee and not deemed appropriate or reasonable, the Transfusion Committee will review the clinician’s actions and take action, if needed.