Blood Transfusion Reaction Guidelines
Most blood transfusions are safe. In a small
number of cases (2-7%), reactions may
occur. They may be minor or serious and
therefore require prompt recognition and
What signs to watch for:
ξ A fever may occur during or after a few
hours of a transfusion. You may or may
not notice any chills.
ξ Hives or skin rash may occur with or
without itching. They may also occur
during or after a transfusion.
ξ Asthma like symptoms may occur which
includes problems breathing, wheezing,
or tightness in the chest. You may also
feel a thickness of the tongue or notice
problems when you swallow or talk.
ξ Dark urine
ξ Back pain
ξ Cough, chest pain, or shortness of
If any of these signs happen to you please
call your Doctor or clinic. The Clinic
telephone number is (608) 265-1700 or toll
After hours, call the hospital paging operator
at (608) 262-0486 or the toll free number
and ask the operator to page the oncology,
hematology or bone marrow transplant
doctor on call.
If your symptoms are severe, you should
have someone drive you to your local
emergency room or call 911.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 8/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#4362.