Complications of Blood Transfusion

In this article, we will discuss various Complications of Blood Transfusion. So, let’s get started



1. Alloimmunisation

2. Incompatibility

2a. Red cells

  • Immediate hemolytic and serological transfusion reactions
  • Delayed hemolytic and serological transfusion reactions

2b. Leucocytes and platelets

  • Nonhemolytic (febrile) transfusion reactions
  • Post-transfusion purpura
  • Poor survival of transfused platelets and granulocytes
  • Graft vs host disease
  • Transfusion related acute lung injury

2c. Plasma proteins- allergic reactions

  • Urticaria and anaphylactic reactions


1. Transmission of infection

  • Transmission of infection, e.g. hepatitis (B, C, D), HIV, other viruses (CMV, EBY, HTLV-1, Parvovirus B-19)
  • Parasites, e.g. malaria, trypanosomiasis, toxoplasmosis
  • Transfusion of blood contaminated with bacteria

2. Volume overload (hypervolemia)

3. Iron overload due to multiple transfusions

4. Bleeding and electrolyte changes: Massive transfusion of stored blood may cause bleeding and electrolyte changes

5. Thrombophlebitis

6. Air embolism

7. Hypotensive reactions in patients receiving ACE inhibitors

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