Objective—To determine the number of and reasons for RBC transfusions, incidence of acute transfusion reactions, prevalence of blood types, volume of blood administered, change in PCV, and clinical outcome in cats.
Animals—126 cats that received RBC transfusions.
Procedure—Medical records of cats that received whole blood or packed RBC transfusions were reviewed for signalment, blood type, pre- and posttransfusion PCV, volume of blood product administered, clinical diagnosis and cause of anemia, clinical signs of acute transfusion reactions, and clinical outcome.
Results—Mean volume of whole blood administered IV was 17.2 mL/kg (7.8 mL/lb) versus 9.3 mL/kg (4.2 mL/lb) for packed RBCs. Ninety-four percent of cats had blood type A. Mean increase in PCV among all cats was 6%. Fifty-two percent of cats had anemia attributed to blood loss, 10% had anemia attributed to hemolysis, and 38% had anemia attributed to erythropoietic failure. Acute transfusion reactions occurred in 11 cats. Sixty percent of cats survived until discharge.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—RBC transfusions resulted in an increase in PCV in cats with all causes of anemia in this study. The rate of death was greater than in cats that did not receive transfusions, but seriousness of the underlying disease in the 2 groups may not be comparable. Death rate of cats that received transfusions was not attributable to a high rate of transfusion reactions. Results confirm that pretransfusion blood typing or crossmatching is required to minimize the risk of adverse reactions. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:920–923)