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Transfusion. 1998 Mar;38(3):296-300.

Adverse reactions associated with autologous blood transfusion: evaluation and incidence at a large academic hospital.

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Section of Transfusion Medicine, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44195, USA.



It is acknowledged that autologous blood is the safest for the patient to receive. However, it is generally not appreciated that transfusion reactions to autologous blood may occur, despite the fact that it is the patient's own blood.


A retrospective review of all transfusion reactions reported to a hospital transfusion service from 1991 through 1996 was performed, and all reactions to autologous blood were further investigated.


Reported adverse reactions to autologous blood composed 2.1 percent of all transfusion reactions investigated in the hospital, involving 0.16 percent (15/9,353) of all transfused preoperatively donated autologous red cell units and 0.027 percent (5/18,506) of all intraoperatively salvaged units. Further investigation revealed that 60 percent (12/20) of these adverse reactions were felt to be clinically important and directly attributable to the autologous blood transfusion. Adverse reactions included febrile nonhemolytic (5) and allergic (4) reactions, an acute hemolytic transfusion reaction secondary to a clerical error (1 intraoperatively salvaged unit), and other nonsignificant adverse reactions (2). Eight adverse reactions were determined these reactions to be unrelated to the autologous transfusion.


Despite the fact that the blood given is the patient's own blood, transfusion reactions to autologous blood do occur. As it is for allogeneic transfusion, any suspected adverse reaction to autologous blood transfusion should be investigated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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