Review of transfusion-associated circulatory overload

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“We present a review of the incidence and clinical features of TACO reported to the National Haemovigilance Office at the Irish Blood Transfusion Service” Piccin et al (2014).

Reference:

Piccin, A., Cronin, M., Brady, R., Sweeney, J., Marcheselli, L. and Lawlor, E. (2014) Transfusion-associated circulatory overload in Ireland: a review of cases reported to the National Haemovigilance Office 2000 to 2010. Transfusion. December 18th. [epub ahead of print].

Abstract:

Background: Transfusion-associated circulatory overload (TACO) is an increasingly reported condition but symptoms and signs are still unrecognized. We present a review of the incidence and clinical features of TACO reported to the National Haemovigilance Office at the Irish Blood Transfusion Service.

Study design and methods: Between 2000 and 2010, a total of 1071 cases of serious transfusion-related reactions were reported, of which 221 (21%) cases were TACO.

Results: A total of 2,000,684 blood components were issued, with a TACO incidence of one in 9177. The TACO incidence per red blood cells, plasma, and platelet components issued was one in 8000, one in 16,000, and one in 57,884, respectively. The majority of cases (68%, n = 151) were elderly patients, while no sex difference was seen. Twenty-eight (13%) patients experienced severe morbidity; 31 (14%) deaths were reported, of which five (2%) were considered due to TACO and the other deaths considered due to and underlying conditions, which in most cases were cardiovascular (76%). An increased risk of mortality was found in patients on diuretics either before transfusion as part of their routine therapy or given as pretransfusion medication (odds ratio, 2.49; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-6.01). In 19 (21%) cases, TACO reaction was due to human error.

Conclusions: The strong association between TACO and human errors supports the role of hemovigilance and of adequate transfusion medicine teaching for preventing morbidity and mortality associated with TACO.

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