Hemolytic transfusion reaction: safeguards for practice.

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Most hemolytic transfusion reactions result from administration of ABO-incompatible blood. Even a small amount of incompatible blood may initiate a reaction and cause devastating consequences leading to death. Careful monitoring of the anesthetized patient is important in recognizing symptoms of a transfusion reaction so that the reaction may be promptly detected and treatment quickly initiated. Many factors contribute to blood transfusion errors resulting from the misidentification of either the patient or the blood product. Nursing has opportunities to establish policies and procedures, design nursing practices, and educate staff to help avoid blood transfusion errors.

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