Blood transfusion is a lifesaving treatment for horses with acute hemorrhage and other causes of anemia. Transfusions improve oxygen delivery to the tissues via increased blood volume and hemoglobin concentration. Certain aspects of equine blood transfusion are challenging, especially in the field situation, and practitioners may be unfamiliar or feel overwhelmed with the process. An understanding of the indications, materials, methods, and techniques as well as donor selection and possible complications will help practitioners successfully implement blood transfusion in clinical practice.
Blood transfusion involves several steps including appropriate donor selection, cross-matching, blood collection, and administration, as well as monitoring and handling of transfusion reactions. Guidance for each of these steps are detailed in this review.
Blood transfusion is an effective and often lifesaving treatment for managing diseases of blood loss, hemolysis, and decreased RBC production. Equine practitioners require a thorough understanding of the indications for blood transfusion, the immunological principles behind compatibility testing and transfusion reactions, and the technical skills to aseptically collect and administer blood products
Equine practitioners require a thorough understanding of the indications for blood transfusion, the immunological principles behind compatibility testing and transfusion reactions, and the technical skills to aseptically collect and administer blood products.
Because there are over 400,000 possible equine RBC phenotypes, no universal donor exists, and some blood type incompatibilities are likely between any donor and recipient. Therefore, prior to any blood transfusion, donor and recipient blood should be cross-matched
Inadequate delivery of oxygen (Do
2) to the tissues, resulting from low hemoglobin (Hb) concentration, is the most important indication for blood transfusion
Neonatal isoerythrolysis most commonly occurs following an anamnestic response in late gestation; it rarely occurs following a primary exposure because the immune response is not strong enough to produce clinically significant alloantibody titers.
Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, Volume 32, Issue S1, Page 108-122, January 2022.Wiley: Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care: Table of Contents