Guidelines for the Laboratory Evaluation of Transfusion Reactions
The diagnosis and evaluation of any transfusion reaction is a matter of clinical judgment. A physician trained in the adverse effects of transfusion should determine the laboratory evaluation. In particular, negative testing results should not be interpreted as definitely excluding a transfusion reaction if there is a strong clinical suspicion that the patient's symptoms are related to blood transfusion. In transfusion medicine, those charged with oversight of practices and their improvement are faced with difficult challenges. This Guideline is intended to facilitate this improvement process.
While infectious transfusion complications are often the focus of patients, physicians, blood transfusion professionals, and regulatory agencies, nonviral and immunologically based complications are the most prevalent risks for a transfusion recipient. The laboratory evaluation of suspected transfusion reactions is critical not only to the health and well-being of the patient, but also to the process of improvement through corrective and preventive actions.