Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care – Most Recent



To describe the development and implementation of a small animal hemovigilance program at a university veterinary teaching hospital.


Retrospective observational descriptive study performed between October 2014 and March 2019.


University teaching hospital.


Dogs and cats receiving blood product transfusions .



Measurements and Main Results

 A hemovigilance working group composed of veterinary specialists in clinical pathology, internal medicine, and emergency and critical care was established. This group developed evidence-based definitions of transfusion reactions, reaction classification systems, and a transfusion reaction reporting form. The reporting form contained sections for patient information, transfusion information, administration details, and reaction details. Reaction events were classified by reaction type, severity grade, and imputability to the transfusion. Following implementation of the hemovigilance program, transfusion reaction data were collected and examined for the period spanning October 2014 and March 2019. During the study period, 718 canine transfusions (4 whole blood, 400 packed RBC [pRBC], 300 fresh frozen plasma [FFP], 7 platelet rich plasma, and 7 cryoprecipitate) and 124 feline transfusions (5 whole blood, 95 pRBC, and 24 FFP) were administered. There were 32 total reactions (27 canine and 5 feline), with the most common reaction being febrile nonhemolytic transfusion reactions (19/32; 59%). The incidence rate of transfusion reactions was found to be 3.8% in dogs and 4.0% in cats. For the confirmed reactions, classification criteria for case definition, reaction severity grade, and imputability were able to be determined and recorded. This allowed targeted interventions to be implemented in order to potentially reduce future reactions.


A hemovigilance program can be instituted successfully in a veterinary hospital setting and once developed, standardized reporting tools could be utilized by multiple hospitals and provide the basis for more widespread reaction reporting in veterinary medicine.

Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, EarlyView.Wiley: Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care: Table of Contents

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