Transfusion Reaction Quiz

Type of reaction

Signs and symptoms

Time of Occurrence

Allergic Reaction

Mild rash, urticarial, flushing, pruritus 

2-3 hours from start of transfusion

Febrile Non-hemolytic

Increase in temperature ≥ 38OC or   1OC

from pre-transfusion value, chills, malaise, rigors, nausea, vomiting

During transfusion

Transfusion Associated Circulatory

Overload (TACO)

Productive cough with frothy sputum,

cyanosis, tachycardia, hypertension,


Within hours of transfusion

Acute hemolytic transfusion reaction (AHTR)

Chills, temperature to 39 OC, fever,

hemoglobinuria, hypotension, renal failure, pain at site of infusion

Within first few minutes


Respiratory distress, erythema, urticarial, bronchospasm, dyspnea, tachycardia, nausea, vomiting

Within 2-3 hours of start of transfusion

Transfusion related acute lung injury  (TRALI)

Hypoxemia, chills, fever, bilateral pulmonary edema, tachycardia, hypotension

Within 2 hours during transfusion

sometimes 6 hours post transfusion

Bacterial contamination

Shock, fever, DIC, nausea, vomiting, chills, rigors etc.

Yersinia enterocolitica: common cause of post transfusion bacterial sepsis

Within hours of transfusion

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