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Risks Associated with Transfusion

Transfusion of blood components has the potential for both benefit and risk to the patient. Transfusion policies and procedures must be carefully followed to reduce transfusion reactions and prevent transfusion related death or serious injury.

Several causes of transfusion-related deaths are summarized in the table below.

Medical errors that could result in transfusion reactions include:

  • Patient mis-identification
  • Sample labeling error
  • Wrong blood type issued
  • Transcription error
  • Technical error
  • Storage error