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Adverse outcomes of blood transfusion and incorrect blood component transfused are reported by health personnel electronically on www.hemovigilans.no. The background and method are described in the 2010 report (2). Approximately 265 000 transfusions were performed in Norway in 2011, 195 248 red blood cell transfusions, 22 386 platelet transfusions and 48 671 plasma (Octaplas®) transfusions. We received 172 reports on adverse outcomes (65 per 100 000 transfusions). Febrile non-haemolytic reactions were the most frequently reported reactions (16 per 100 000 transfusions), followed by mild allergic reactions (11 per 100 000 transfusions).
Approximately 15 % of the adverse outcomes were reported as serious (11 per 100 000 transfusions). No deaths due to transfusion reactions were reported. Sex ratios for transfusion reactions seem to reflect sex ratios among transfused patients. Adverse effects seem to be more frequent among children than among adults.
Unfortunately, we lack reliable background data on transfused patients in Norway. Thirty incidents of incorrect blood component transfused (IBCT) were reported, ten incidents of blood component intended for another patient, 19 incidents of failure to provide blood components of the appropriate specification and one incident of both IBCT and failure to provide blood components of the appropriate specification. In all the IBCT cases the bedside control routines were not followed.
Failure to provide blood component of the appropriate specification was most often caused by errors in the selection and delivery of blood from the blood bank, sometimes by deficiencies in the pre-transfusion testing. Two cases of ABO haemolytic transfusion reaction were reported and seven incidents of haemolytic transfusion reaction caused by non ABO antibodies, one acute and six delayed reactions. Nine anaphylactic reactions, 14 cases of transfusion associated circulatory overload (TACO) and five cases of transfusion related acute lung injury (TRALI) were reported in 2011.
No transfusion transmitted infections were reported. As in previous years, there were no reports on transfusion associated graft-versus-host disease or posttransfusjonspurpura.