Monitoring and observation

Frequent visual observations during transfusion are essential to identify signs of reactions or adverse events.

The patient must be observed closely for the first 15 minutes of each pack and at least hourly throughout the transfusion. The need for more frequent vital signs will depend on the patient’s clinical status, location and local health service policy.

Temperature, pulse, respirations and blood pressure must be recorded:

  • prior to transfusion along with the presence of any pre-existing rashes
  • 15 minutes after commencement, and 
  • on completion of each pack (or as otherwise stipulated by the local health service policy).

It’s important to recognise, respond to and report adverse events.

Speed is essential because of the possible life-threatening nature of acute reactions.

Report any reactions and/or adverse events to hospital incident management systems.

Acute Transfusion Reactions Card

Acute Transfusion Reactions Card

Information Sheet
Blood Book: Australian Blood Administration Handbook

Blood Book: Australian Blood Administration Handbook



Further information

Related topics