Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Blood: transfusion

Contributor(s): Prof Derek Knottenbelt, Ruth Morgan, Robert Shull, Vetstream Ltd

Introduction

  • To provide short-term improvement in red blood cell parameters in horses with hematocrit below 15% with signs of cardiovascular compromise.
  • Cross-matching of donor and recipient blood prior to transfusion is strongly recommended.
  • Transfused cells may only last a matter of days, therefore recipient must have functional bone marrow.
  • There are at least 8 blood groups in horses relating to surface antigens on the red blood cells.
  • Universal donors have neither Qa nor Aa antibodies nor antigens.
  • Repeat transfusion is possible but increases the risk of reaction.

Uses

  • In horses whose hematocrit has fallen below 15% and have clinical signs related to hypoxemia. To enable them to recover sufficiently to regenerate their own red blood cells.
  • Following acute or severe chronic blood loss (though a 450 kg Thoroughbred may be able to lose up to 15 liters of blood without significant problems if hypovolemia does not develop).
  • Following hemolysis including babesiosis, autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA)   Anemia: auto-immune hemolytic (AIHA)  , neonatal isoerythrolysis .

Advantages

  • Provides clinical improvement and allows time for bone marrow regenerative response to begin (4-7 days).

Disadvantages

  • At least 8 blood groups exist relating to red blood cell (RBC) surface antigens.
  • Numerous other plasma proteins increase possible incompatibility.
  • Many transfusions done without cross-matching will have some side-effects, varying from mild to severe   Blood: transfusion reactions  .

This is a high risk procedure and correct procedure should be adhered to.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • The prognosis is dependent on the underlying disease process.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers


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