How fast do you run blood?

  1. A family member has cancer and needed a unit of blood. The nurse in the infusion center intended to run it over an hour, though she had to slow the rate a bit due to a rise in blood pressure. It probably took 2 hours. On the floors I work, we typically infuse blood over 3-4 hours. It never occurred to me to run it faster but now I can't help but think, if the patient could tolerate it, it would be so much easier to run it faster. Which leads me to ask: how fast do you normally infuse a unit of blood and how well do your patients tolerate it?
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   RNperdiem
    In a trauma situation, about a minute a unit using the rapid infuser.
  4. by   Sour Lemon
    I usually run at 100ml/hr unless the order directs otherwise.
  5. by   Meeshie
    Policy varies widely hospital to hospital. When I worked on an inpatient high acuity oncology floor we typically ran PRBCs at around 2 hours as long as we had good access or the patient had CHF or fluid overload issues.
  6. by   jennylee321
    3 hrs for babies of for PRBCs
  7. by   KelRN215
    In pediatrics, 3-4 hrs depending on the volume in mL/kg.
  8. by   Euro_Sepsis
    No faster than 2 hours (unless exsanguinating), no more than 4 hours from being issued from the blood bank. That's the standard of care per all the transfusion medicine guidelines I've read.
  9. by   elizzyRN
    Quote from Euro_Sepsis
    No faster than 2 hours (unless exsanguinating), no more than 4 hours from being issued from the blood bank. That's the standard of care per all the transfusion medicine guidelines I've read.
    That's the policy for our med/surg/tele floors. We typically run at 125 ml/hr.
  10. by   Euro_Sepsis
    I always start at 30-50ml/hr for the first 15 minutes, then run the VTBI over ~1h45m.
  11. by   LovingLife123
    It depends. With traumas sometimes I will squeeze it in quickly or we will use the rapid infused. It depends on how bad the patient needs it. I've used pressure bags too for blood needed quickly.

    For your everyday infusion, I start at 125mL/hr abs after the first 15 minutes and I see no reaction, I up the rate to 175mL/hr. Our order set says to infuse over 2-3 hours.
  12. by   NuGuyNurse2b
    I start at 150 and determine whether to go up/down depending on how the patient tolerates it Our bags are usually 300mL (so it says) but I've run it dry where I've had to add another 100mL to the volume on the pump, so some bags are really 400mL. You can kinda feel which ones are more because they're "plumper"
  13. by   13grad71
    Like what others said in the ER in critical situations, we squeeze them, run em thru a rapid infuser anything to get it in quickly. On the floor I normally run them for 3 hours.
  14. by   HalfBoiled
    50ml/hr on the first 30 mins.
    If my pt has multiple transfusions before, I would jump straight to 125ml/hr. Finish less than 3 hours.

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