Hemolytic transfusion reaction

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By nclexnursing

After a blood transfusion, a hemolytic transfusion response is a dangerous complication that can happen. The reaction occurs when the body’s immune system kills the red blood cells donated during the transfusion. Hemolysis is the term for the method of destroying red blood cells.

Other allergic transfusion responses that do not result in hemolysis exist.

Causes of Blood Transfusion

A, B, AB, and O are the four different types of blood.

Rh factors are another approach to classify blood cells. “Rh-positive” refers to those who have Rh factors in their blood. Rh-negative people are those who lack these factors. If Rh-negative people are exposed to Rh-positive blood, antibodies are formed against the Rh factor.

In addition to A, B, O, and Rh, there are other variables that can be used to identify blood cells.

Your immune system is normally able to differentiate between your own blood cells and those of another individual. Your body creates antibodies to kill the donor’s blood cells if you get blood that is not compatible with your blood type. The transfusion response is caused by this procedure. Blood given to you in a transfusion must be compatible with your own. This indicates that your body lacks antibodies to the blood you receive.

A blood transfusion between compatible groups (such as O+ to O+) rarely causes complications. Transfusions of blood across incompatible groups (for example, A+ to O-) trigger an immunological response. This can happen in a life-threatening transfusion response. The donor blood cells are attacked by the immune system, which causes them to explode.


  • Back ache
  • Chills from bloody urine
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Fever
  • Pain in the flanks
  • The skin is cleansed.
  • A hemolytic transfusion reaction usually manifests either during or shortly after the transfusion. They may appear after a few days in some cases (delayed reaction).

This disease may change the results of these tests:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Coombs test, direct
  • Coombs test, indirect
  • Fibrin degradation products
  • Haptoglobin
  • Partial thromboplastin time
  • Prothrombin time
  • Serum bilirubin
  • Serum creatinine
  • Serum hemoglobin
  • Urinalysis
  • Urine hemoglobin


If symptoms appear during the transfusion, it must be stopped immediately. Blood samples from the recipient (the person who receives the transfusion) and the donor may be analyzed to determine whether the symptoms are due to a transfusion response.

Mild symptoms can be managed with the following medications:

Acetaminophen is a pain medication that helps to lower fever and discomfort.

To treat or prevent renal failure and shock, fluids and other drugs are administered through a vein (intravenous).


The outcome is determined by the severity of the reaction. It’s possible that the disease will go away without causing any complications. It could also be serious and life-threatening.

Among the potential complications are:

Kidney failure that is sudden and severe

Anemia, Lung Issues, and Shock


To lessen the danger of a transfusion reaction, donated blood is divided into ABO and Rh types.

Blood is checked (cross-matched) before a transfusion to see if the receiver and donor are compatible. A small amount of donor blood and a small amount of recipient blood are mixed together. Under a microscope, the mixture is examined for signs of antibody reactivity.

Your physician will usually double-check before the transfusion to be sure you’re getting the proper blood.