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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Transfusion Reactions. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Acute Pain and Hypotensive Reactions

Acute pain reactions are characterized by intense body pain in the chest or flank when the patient is transfused. These reactions are rare and are not well understood.
Hypotension is a symptom that is associated with an acute hemolytic reaction or the transfusion of a bacterially contaminated unit. Hypotension can also occur as a reaction to cytokines that are produced during the metabolism of white blood cells in stored red cell and platelet components. This type of reaction can be reduced by the use of prestorage leukocyte-­reduced components.