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J Clin Nurs. 2001 Mar;10(2):161-70.

Administration of blood transfusions to adults in general hospital settings: a review of the literature.

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School of Health Studies, Homerton College Cambridge, Addenbrooke's Hospital NHS Trust, UK.


The Serious Hazards of Transfusion (SHOT) haemovigilance scheme for the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland has clearly indicated that there are avoidable risks to which recipients of blood transfusion are exposed. Sometimes errors in practice have led to serious and even fatal consequences, particularly when a haemolytic response occurs due to an incompatible transfusion. Despite the risks, blood transfusion is an important and frequently life-saving therapy and its use in clinical practice is common. This paper discusses recently published national guidelines for the care of recipients of blood transfusion in the light of a review of the literature relevant to the administration of blood transfusions to adults in general hospital settings. Recommendations for practitioners, managers and teachers are offered in relation to preventing errors and to patient care associated with blood transfusion in the context of contemporary emphasis upon evidence based care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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