40 Notes on transfusion medicine
There is an increasing availability to nonreferral practices of products for transfusion through commercial and charitable pet blood banks, and a good understanding of the basic principles of transfusion medicine is essential. This is to ensure that the recipient is treated in the safest and most appropriate way, that the owner’s resources are put to greatest use, and that the product which was donated by another animal, sometimes requiring sedation, is in fact used in the most beneficial manner. In the author’s opinion, the latter is sometimes readily overlooked and ultimately it must be remembered that animal blood donors do not volunteer for the task!
Use only the blood product indicated to minimize risk of a transfusion reaction and reduce the total volume to be administered (Table 40.1).
Anaemia – normovolaemic versus hypovolaemic
These are determined by species-specific inherited antigens on the red blood cell surface.
Canine blood types
Feline blood types
Routine testing is carried out for blood types A, B and AB.