The present study is an attempt to assess the nature, the incidence and the gravity of transfusion reactions which occur in modern blood transfusion practice. The experimental and clinical observations are the result of experience of Blood Transfusion work during the past decade, first in a highly organised teaching hospital, then in the British Army Blood Transfusion Service, and more recently in a modern Regional Transfusion Centre.
It is important at the outset to differentiate the various types of transfusion reactions. When a patient presents clinical manifestations of disease during or after transfusion, the physician must attempt to answer two related. questions: (i) Is the manifestation due to the primary disease or is it caused by blood transfusion? (ii) If the abnormality is caused by transfusion what type of reaction is it?
Many attempts have been made by various authors to classify transfusion reactions Kilduffe and. De Bakey 1942). The following classification has been found by the author to be extremely useful in practice, and is followed throughout this thesis as a basis for study.
CLASSIFICATION OF TRANSFUSION REACTIONS: 1. Pyrexial Reactions 2. Transmission of Disease (a) From Donor to Recipient b) Extraneous Contamination 3. Mechanical Reactions (a.) Circulatory Overloading (b.) Air Embolism (c.) Pulmonary Embolism: 4. Haemolytic Reactions