Glossary

Blood Pressure Decrease:
  • Adults (18 years of age or older): Drop in systolic BP of 30 mm Hg or more AND systolic BP of 80 mm Hg or less.
  • Infants, children and adolescents (1 year to less than 18 years of age): Greater than 25% drop in systolic BP (e.g., drop in baseline systolic BP of 120 mm Hg to below 90 mm Hg).
  • Neonates and small infants (less than 1 year of age OR any age and less than 12 kg body weight): Greater than 25% drop in baseline value in whatever measurement is being recorded (e.g., mean BP).
Bronchospasm (wheezing): A contraction of smooth muscle in the walls of the bronchi and bronchioles, causing acute narrowing and obstruction of the respiratory airway. This constriction can result in a rasp or whistling sound while breathing.

Chills/Rigors: A feeling of cold with shivering or shaking and pallor.

Cryoprecipitate: A concentrated source of fibrinogen. It also contains von Willebrand’s factor, fibronectin, and coagulation factors VIII and XIII.

Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC): Bleeding disorder characterized by reduction in the factors involved in blood clotting due to their use in widespread clotting within the vessels. The intravascular clotting ultimately produces hemorrhage because of rapid consumption of clotting factors.

Edema: Swelling of soft tissues as a result of excessive fluid accumulation.

Epistaxis: Bleeding from the nose.

Fever: An increase of at least 1 Signs/Symptoms:

Hypotension:
  • Adults (18 years and older): 
    • Drop in systolic BP of greater than or equal to 30 mm Hg and
    • Systolic BP less than or equal to 80
  • Infants, children and adolescents (1 year to less than 18 years old): Greater than 25% drop in systolic BP
  • Neonates and small infants (less than 1 year old or any age and less than 12 kg body weight): C (2° F) over the pre-transfusion temperature.
Granulocytes: A subset of white blood cells that includes neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils. These are collected and transfused under special circumstances after consultation with a transfusion medicine physician.

Hematuria: Presence of blood or red blood cells in the urine.

Hemoglobinemia: The presence of free hemoglobin in the blood plasma.

Hemoglobinuria: Presence of free hemoglobin in the urine.

HLA: Human leukocyte antigens are a group of protein molecules located on the surface of nucleated cells and platelets. HLA helps the immune response to distinguish between self and non-self. Antibodies against HLA molecules can lead to incompatible organ transplants and platelet transfusions.

Hypoxemia: Abnormal deficiency in the concentration of oxygen in arterial blood. PaO2 / FiO2 less than or equal to 300 mm Hg or oxygen saturation is less than 90% on room air.

Irradiation: Gamma or electron treatment of a cellular blood product to disable proliferation of nucleated cells. This protects against transfusion-associated graft versus host disease.

Jaundice: New onset or worsening of yellow discoloration (icterus) of the skin or sclera (scleral icterus) secondary to an increased level of bilirubin.

Leukocyte reduced: The component is filtered at the time of collection to remove most, but not all, white blood cells.

Oliguria: New onset of decreased urinary output (less than 500 cc output per 24 hours).

Other rash: Non-urticarial skin rash.

Plasma: The liquid portion of whole blood, containing water, electrolytes, glucose, fats, proteins, and gases. Plasma contains all the clotting factors necessary for coagulation in an inactive form. Once coagulation occurs, the fluid is converted to serum. Plasma also contains antibodies that can lead to incompatible red blood cell transfusions.

Pruritus: Itching.

Rh(D) negative: Rh is a group of antigens expressed on the surface of the red blood cell. The D antigen, commonly referred to as Rh or Rh(D) antigen, is the most immunogenic. Approximately 15% of blood donors lack the D antigen and are commonly referred to as Rh or D negative.

Shock: A drop in blood pressure accompanied by a drop in cardiac output including rapid heart rate (increase to 100 beats per minute or more), rapid breathing, cutaneous vasoconstriction, pallor, sweating, decreased or scanty urine production, agitation and/or loss of consciousness that required fluid resuscitation, with or without inotropic support.

Shortness of Breath (dyspnea): New onset or significant worsening of shortness of breath or a significant increase in respiratory rate (with or without hypoxemia).

TRALI: Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury is an acute syndrome including dyspnea, hypoxemia, and interstitial pulmonary infiltrates presenting within six hours of transfusion in the absence of other detectable causes.

TACO: Transfusion-Associated Circulatory Overload is a possible consequence of transfusion in patients with cardiac insufficiency, renal impairment, or already expanded blood volumes.

Urticaria (hives): Raised red spots (with or without itching).