Diligently measuring transfusion and donation outcomes
The Blood Services in South Africa participate in a formal haemovigilance program. Information is gathered from reports on adverse events associated with blood transfusion and blood donation. The data is analysed and the results are distributed through the annual haemovigilance report. Its aim is to enable the Blood Service and clinicians to improve blood transfusion and donation safety. Reporting adverse reactions is mandatory for the success of the program.
Untoward transfusion reactions
A transfusion reaction may be defined as “any potentially adverse sign or symptom which occurs after the start of any transfusion of blood or blood products”. In order to notice any adverse effect, patients should be monitored at the start of the transfusion and every 15 minutes thereafter. Transfusions should be stopped immediately should there be any signs of an untoward reaction.