The FDA is alerting physicians and other health professionals to the potential for severe hypotensive reactions in patients receiving blood products transfused through a bedside leukocyte reduction filter. Based on current scientific knowledge, the agency is recommending to health professionals involved in these procedures that they watch for a precipitous drop in patient blood pressure.
The primary clinical manifestation of the reaction is the sudden onset of a severe hypotensive episode within 1 hour of transfusing blood or blood components through a bedside leukocyte filter. The hypotension may be associated with respiratory distress, facial flushing, abdominal pain and nausea, and loss of consciousness. Should the patient develop signs of a leukocyte reduction blood filter reaction, immediately stop the transfusion. Rapid resolution of the symptoms is usually seen once the transfusion is discontinued. Follow the treatment of transfusion reactions as outlined in the institution's protocol.
Nightingale SL. Hypotension and Bedside Leukocyte Reduction Filters. JAMA. 1999;281(21):1978. doi:10.1001/jama.281.21.1978-JFD90004-2-1