Nurses have a definitive role in ensuring that blood transfusions are safely administered and records maintained to provide an audit trail of the procedure.

Blood transfusion can be hazardous to the patient as there are risks associated with potential transfusion reactions. While blood transfusion reactions are rare, there is a risk that the patient could experience an adverse life-threatening event.

It is important that nurses not only follow procedure during the administration blood, or blood products, but that they are also familiar with the ABO blood group system and know how to mitigate and manage potential reactions safely and effectively.

Patient Blood Management
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Blood Transfusion Reactions
If you haven’t administered a blood transfusion as a nurse, chances are you personally know someone who has been on the receiving end of one. They can be a common occurrence in hospital, and because of that, a common area of risk within healthcare.

About Blood Types
Your blood type, also known as your blood group, helps determine what kind of blood donation might be best for you to give.

Blood types: the not so bleeding obvious
Blood types are determined by the presence or absence of particular antigens on the surface of red blood cells.

Cortez-Gann, J. (2017). Blood transfusion vital sign frequency: What does the evidence say? MedSurg Nursing, 26(2), 89-92.

DeLisle, J. (2018). Is This a blood transfusion reaction? Don’t hesitate; check it out. Journal of Infusion Nursing, 41(1), 43-51. doi:10.1097/NAN.0000000000000261

Moore, A. (2018). ‘Stop and check — it could save a life’. Nursing Standard, 33(5), 72-74. doi:10.7748/ns.33.5.72.s23