How fast is too fast to transfuse blood? - page 6

by RNdiva505 22,062 Views | 53 Comments

I have been trying to find a clearer answer to my question. I am a new nurse and new to transfusing blood. I know to get the blood in within four hour time period, vitals, priming, etc... My question has to do with rate and... Read More


  1. 0
    If you're sick enough for a transfusion, you're gonna buy at least a 20 gauge from me. If you can't get a 20 in, call for someone who can. I'm perfectly fine with running up to the floor to start an IV, especially if that patient is coming to me in the OR. In my experience, most of the floor or holding area nurses, don't push themselves hard enough to become more expert in IV starts. As a previous poster said, if you can get a 22 in, you can get a 20. Let's exclude neonates - that' in another parallel universe.
  2. 0
    Quote from misswoosie
    Yes, gravity (because usually the venepucture site is lower than the heart) and also venous pressure too.

    It's a widely known fact that having the torniquet on for too long when taking blood can lead to an artificially high serum potassium result.
    It is only to gravity if you are letting it drip out using venous pressure. It is not by gravity if you are using a syringe or vacuum tube to gather the sample. We usually use negative pressure to obtain a blood specimen. A heel stick specimen in a newborn would be an example of a gravity obtained specimen.
  3. 1
    Provides some useful information
    Interesting to see the differences in the recommendations from BD/INH and UK for catheter sizes.
    http://www.sarb.be/fr/journal/artike...%20et%20al.pdf
    wtbcrna likes this.
  4. 0
    I have been taught to have AT LEAST a 20 gauge to transfuse blood. Any smaller will cause damage/hemolysis of the RBCs. Last night I had to transfuse some blood to a patient, and the patient had 2 IV's - a 22G and a 20G. I flushed the 20G prior without problems, but then when it was time for me to hang blood, the IV was no good Luckily we were able to get a brand new 20G in the patient and I was still able to start my blood within 30 minutes Last night I was also told that if a 22 gauge is all you have, then you use it to transfuse blood...you will just have to run the blood at a slower rate.

    I usually start at 75mL/hr, see how the patient does, then up it to 125mL/hr. If the patient has CHF, I slow it down to around 100. Be diligent with monitoring and teach the patient which signs and symptoms to look out for and to report to you immediately, if something happens in between the last time you checked on the patient and the time you check on them again.


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