Transfusion practice

BloodSafe has developed a set of resources to provide clinicians with information on recommended transfusion practices.

Information includes:


Consent is a process – not a piece of paper. Use a competent interpreter when the patient is not fluent in English. 

Give written information and use diagrams where appropriate.

Explain to your patient:

  • Cause/likelihood of bleeding/low blood count (including any uncertainty)
  • Nature of the proposed transfusion therapy – what is involved?
  • Benefits expected?
  • Risks – common and rare but serious?
  • Alternatives – including the risk of doing nothing?

Ask your patient:

  • Is there anything else you would like to know?
  • Is there anything you do not understand?

Refer to your hospital/health service policy for documentation requirements and when/if consent is required. 

For more information about transfusion risks and obtaining consent process, see the: 

Prescribing of blood and blood components

Quick reference guides on red cell transfusion for:

When patient's are transfused, a medical records sticker (PDF 104KB) needs to go into the patient's notes. These stickers prompt to help record the clinical indication for red cell transfusion.

Administration of blood and blood components

New blood pack label (ISBT 128) educational and bedside check resources

From mid-November 2018 blood packs will have new labels according to the ISBT 128 standard.  Educational resources to support the use of ISBT 128 labelled blood packs have been developed for SA Pathology and health providers using blood:

Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIg) product administration guidelines

Administration guidelines for:

Paediatric transfusion information kit

A Paediatric transfusion information kit has produced to help explain what will happen and why transfusions are needed for children. The kit is available on the Blood transfusions page, or for printed copies contact BloodSafe.

The paediatric transfusion information kit was produced collaboratively by:

  • BloodSafe
  • the Australian Red Cross Blood Service
  • the New Zealand Blood Service
  • the Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion.

The kit was originally created by the National Health Service in the UK and has been adapted for Australia and New Zealand. 

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