Blood transfusions - blood transfusions and intravenous immunoglobulin treatment
BloodSafe has developed a set of resources to provide clinicians with information on recommended transfusion practices.
Consent is a process – not a piece of paper. Use a competent interpreter when the patient is not fluent in English.
Give written information and use diagrams where appropriate.
Explain to your patient:
- cause/likelihood of bleeding/low blood count (including any uncertainty)
- nature of the proposed transfusion therapy – what is involved?
- benefits expected?
- risks – common and rare but serious?
- alternatives – including the risk of doing nothing?
Ask your patient:
- is there anything else you would like to know?
- is there anything you do not understand?
Refer to your hospital/health service policy for documentation requirements and when/if consent is required.
For more information about transfusion risks and obtaining consent process, see the:
- Quick reference guide to obtaining informed consent for transfusion (PDF 66KB)
- Pocket guide to consent for transfusion (PDF 46KB)
Prescribing of blood and blood components
Quick reference guides on red cell transfusion for:
When patients are transfused, a medical records sticker (PDF 104KB) needs to go into the patient's notes. These stickers prompt to help record the clinical indication for red cell transfusion.
Administration of blood and blood components
- Sunrise EMR How-to guide — to assist with double independent checking and documentation in Sunrise EMR immediately prior to transfusion.
- Transfusion pre-administration double independent check — a short checklist to assist with double independent checking at the patient's side immediately prior to transfusion.
- A how to video: Double Independent Check for Blood Products using Sunrise
- The Blood Book: Australian Blood Administration Handbook - A bedside resource to assist with correct transfusion administration practice.
- ANZSBT guidelines for the administration of blood components - Australian and New Zealand guidelines for the administration of blood components.
- For reporting of transfusion adverse events, use the SA Pathology form
Internationally-standardised format of donation numbers on blood packs (ISBT 128)
Resources to support the transition to the ISBT 128 format of donation numbers on blood packs by SA Pathology to support SA Health Hospitals.
Resources to help with correct patient identification:
Label before you leave
- poster for SA Health employees — Label before you leave (PDF 535KB)
- screensaver for SA Health employees — Label before you leave (PNG 1.5MB)
- poster for patients — Label before you leave (PDF 561KB)
- screensaver for patients — Label before you leave (PNG 1.9MB)
- pre-transfusion sample collection and labelling using Sunrise EMR ;video
- ordering pathology samples and preparing for collection video
- patient identity check and sample labelling video
Emergency Use of Group O Red Cells
Group O RhD negative red blood cells (RBC) have traditionally been used for all emergency transfusions, resulting in demand that often exceeds available supply. A recently released National Statement recommends the use of O RhD positive red cells for males over the age of 18 and females over the age of 50 for emergency transfusion.
To assist with this change a number of resources are available, including a:
- Fact Sheet, and a flow chart for the emergency use of group O red cells
- FAQs that provide guidance for specific patient groups
- PowerPoint Presentation that can be adapted and used for educational sessions in your organisation
- National Statement for the Emergency Use of Group O Red Cells.
One therapeutic adult dose of cryoprecipitate is now 4 packs, instead of the previous 5 packs. Changes to the collection and processing of plasma collection by Australian Red Cross Lifeblood have resulted in increased fibrinogen content per pack. Cryoprecipitate Clinical Update
- reconstituting Fibrinogen Concentrate (Riastapp) — the 2 Person / 1 Bag Technique video
- introduction of Fibrinogen Concentrate across nominated regional sites in South Australia video
Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIg) product administration guidelines
Administration guidelines for:
- Flebogamma 5% (PDF 51KB)
- Flebogamma 10% (PDF 51KB)
- Gamunex 10% (PDF 95KB)
- Intragam 10% (PDF 212KB)
- Kiovig 10% (PDF 51KB)
- Octagam 10% (PDF 56KB)
- Privigen and Privigen AU 10% (PDF 51KB)
Paediatric transfusion information kit
A Paediatric transfusion information kit has produced to help explain what will happen and why transfusions are needed for children. The kit is available on the Blood transfusions page, or for printed copies contact BloodSafe.
The paediatric transfusion information kit was produced collaboratively by:
- the Australian Red Cross Blood Service
- the New Zealand Blood Service
- the Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion.
The kit was originally created by the National Health Service in the UK and has been adapted for Australia and New Zealand.