BloodCenter’s team of Transfusion Medicine physicians lead and participate in a variety of clinical research studies to help advance patient care. They research areas that range from blood donation and transfusion outcomes to bleeding and clotting disorders and sickle cell disease. Some of their clinical studies are funded by grants from groups such as National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and Doris Duke Innovations in Clinical Research.
The Transfusion Medicine physicians at BloodCenter of Wisconsin have collaborated to provide concise information that may be of interest to healthcare professionals. If you have questions about these topics or other transfusion-related patient concerns, please contact one of our physicians:
Phone: (414) 937-6334
8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Monday through Friday
After hours, contact Hospital Services:
Phone: (414) 937-6160
Request an Education Program If you are interested in having a presentation from one of our physicians, please go to our request form.
BloodCenter of Wisconsin Blood Utilization Guidelines. The purpose of the BloodCenter of Wisconsin Blood Utilization Guidelines is twofold. The first is to provide practitioners and caregivers with an overview of evidence-based, suggested best practice for the appropriate utilization of blood and blood components to promote optimal transfusion therapy. Secondly, these guidelines also provide up to date references to support these practices. Selected references are listed under each blood component. The physicians and staff of the BloodCenter’s Medical Science Institute have compiled these guidelines after review of the cited references. Further review and final approval was then completed by the Medical Advisory Committee.
Adult Transfusion Guidelines
Pediatric Transfusion Guidelines
Transfusion-related Acute Lung Injury (TRALI). Concise overview of the definition, recognition and management of TRALI.
Your physician has decided that you need a blood transfusion as part of your care. A blood transfusion could include red blood cells, platelets, or plasma. Your physician will explain why you need a transfusion, how it will help you and what the risks are. You or your family member will need to agree to the blood transfusion which can be given in a hospital or clinic. Please talk to your doctor regarding any planned blood transfusion. It is important that you fully understand the reason for the transfusion, any reactions (though rare) that could occur, and whether or not an alternative medication or treatment may be used instead.
Before you receive your transfusion, a blood sample will be drawn to determine your blood type and to check for “antibodies” that could react to the transfused blood in a harmful way. The blood product given to you will be one that matches yours as closely as possible to reduce the chance of a reaction. It is very unlikely that someone will get an infection from a blood transfusion. More than 10 tests are done on each unit of blood at BloodCenter of Wisconsin.
Blood transfusions are given through an IV (intravenous) line – a thin tube placed in a vein. Sometimes a patient can experience a reaction to the transfusion. The signs of a reaction can include:
- Fever and chills
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Back ache
- Feeling dizzy or anxious
- Yellowing of eyes or skin
- Dark colored urine
The nurse caring for you will watch for these symptoms. They will check your blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and breathing. Please tell the nurse if you are not feeling well during the transfusion.
After your transfusion is completed, you may return to your normal activity and diet. If you have any questions about the blood transfusion, please call your doctor or the nurse caring for you.
Additional information: Getting a Transfusion (English) or Conseguiendo una Transfusiòn (Español)