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July 1991

Guidelines for Auditing Pediatric Blood Transfusion Practices

Am J Dis Child. 1991;145(7):782-785. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160070083027

Although transfusion of blood products is an essential and potentially life-saving measure, not all blood transfusions are beneficial to patients. The associated risks, particularly transfusion-transmitted viral illnesses, such as hepatitis and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, require that careful consideration be given before a decision is made to transfuse any blood product. Many institutions have established a local committee to monitor transfusion practices and audit such practices regularly. To assist in this task, the Pediatric Hemotherapy Committee of the American Association of Blood Banks has developed guidelines for the conduct of pediatric blood transfusion audits. These guidelines, summarized herein, cover transfusion of red blood cells, platelets, white blood cells, fresh-frozen plasma, albumin, and clotting concentrates. The use of cytomegalovirus low-risk and irradiated blood products is also discussed. Throughout the report, special attention is given to the transfusion needs of newborn infants.

(AJDC. 1991;145:787-796)