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Vox Sang. 2002 Aug;83 Suppl 1:147-50.

Breathlessness and blood: a combustible combination.

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  • 1Haemonetics Corporation, Braintree, MA, USA.


Pulmonary complications are increasingly recognized as serous hazards of transfusion. The evidence suggests that transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) and transfusion-associated circulatory overload (TACO) are underrecognized. Both present with dyspnea but other signs and symptoms assist in determining the proper diagnosis. Males and females are equally affected. Morbidity is significant with both complications and in the case of TRALI, the mortality is in the range of 6-10%. Although the clinical descriptions of both entities are well established, the clinical profile of the at-risk population for both TRALI and TACO is not well understood. Because early intervention can reduce morbidity, it is important that clinicians recognize these disorders and apply appropriate treatment.

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