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Massive blood transfusion

Created: 30/4/2006

This is defined as the acute administration of more than 1.5 times the patient’s blood volume, or replacement of the patient’s total blood volume within 24 hours. Blood groups which may be used in urgent circumstances include:

O Rh(D)- if patient's blood group unknown.

Group specific  if patient is not cross matched.

Complications of Massive blood transfusion

Impaired O2 delivery, hypothermia, coagulopathy (DIC), hypocalcaemia, hyperkalaemia, acidosis, ARDS/TRALI

Guidelines for autologous blood transfusion

i] BCSH Guidelines: You will require Adobe Acrobat version 5 or higher to view the guidelines available on the site.

ii] Blood Transfusion and the Anaesthetist - Red Cell Transfusion (2001)-Association of Anaesthetists Guidelines


[i] Massive blood transfusion.
Donaldson MD, Seaman MJ, Park GR.
Br J Anaesth 1992; 69(6): 621-30

[ii] Perioperative systemic haemostatic agents.
Mahdy AM, Webster NR.
Br J Anaesth. 2004 Dec;93(6):842-58

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