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Surveillance of transfusion related adverse reactions

"The adverse reactions that can be potentially expected range anywhere in severity from mild to life threatening" Pai (2020).


Even though blood transfusion is a life saving measure, it is nonetheless associated with a number of risks and hazards. The adverse reactions that can be potentially expected range anywhere in severity from mild to life threatening. The hemovigilance program deals with the systematic surveillance of these reactions as and when they occur in a hospital setting with an explicit aim of improving the quality and safety standards of the entire transfusion process. The current study was undertaken in the blood bank of a tertiary care centre in Bangalore to ascertain frequency of the blood transfusion related adverse reactions and to make a systematic profile assessment. Data was collected over a period of 4 years and 3 months. All adverse reactions caused by transfusion of blood and its products during the study period were included in the study. A total of 6910 units of blood and its components were issued to patients during the study period. Transfusion reactions accounted for 0.5% of transfusions. Febrile non-hemolytic transfusion reactions were the most common reactions (51.4%) followed by allergic reactions (40%), fluid overload (5.7%) and anaphylactic reactions (2.9%). Majority of these reactions were seen with PRBC transfusions (74.3%) followed by platelet transfusions (25.7%). The use of leukoreduced PRBCs will help in reducing the frequency of these reactions. The hemovigilance program of our institution helps in assessing the diversity of adverse reactions associated with transfusion of blood and its various components. It is also an efficient scheme for minimizing their occurrence by ensuring safety standards.


Pai S. Surveillance of Transfusion Related Adverse Reactions in a Tertiary Care Centre in Bangalore: A 4-Year Hemovigilance Initiative. Indian J Hematol Blood Transfus. 2020 Oct;36(4):733-739. doi: 10.1007/s12288-020-01312-w. Epub 2020 Jul 1. PMID: 33100718; PMCID: PMC7572932.