Transfusion medicine in dogs and cats: products, collection and administration
Many veterinary hospitals have permanent canine and/or feline blood donors to cover their transfusion requirements and some have their own blood bank. Hospitals must ensure there is appropriate donor selection and screening, as there are inherent risks of transmission of infectious agents and of causing adverse reactions.All donors should be fully vaccinated and receive regular veterinary preventative health care. A full physical examination should be performed by a veterinary surgeon prior to each donation, and should be unremarkable. Donors should also be screened for infectious diseases.Blood collection and component preparation can be labour intensive and time consuming. It is of great importance to know the properties of the different blood products available in transfusion medicine, as well as how they might be used to achieve the best results in clinical practice. Veterinary nurses must know how to administer blood and blood products safely to their patients. Blood products are prepared from donor animals and represent a very limited resource, not available in all situations.Through a combination of rigorous donor screening, individualized blood product selection, and careful monitoring, veterinary nurses can minimize the risks and enhance the benefits of transfusion.
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