CE: A Review of Current Practice in Transfusion Therapy

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Abstract

In the United States, roughly 4.5 million patients per year receive transfusions of various blood products. Despite the lifesaving benefits of transfusion therapy, it is an independent risk factor for infection, morbidity, and death in critically ill patients. It's important for nurses to understand the potential complications patients face when blood products are administered and to recognize that patients who have received blood products in the past remain at risk for delayed reactions, including immune compromise and infection. Here, the authors review the blood products that are commonly transfused; discuss potential complications of transfusion, as well as their associated signs and symptoms; and outline current recommendations for transfusion therapy that are widely supported in the medical and nursing literature.

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