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Blood Transfusions in Obstetrics (Green-top Guideline No. 47)

Published: 29/05/2015

This is the second edition of this guideline, which was previously published under the same title in 2007.

Update May 2018: New evidence and guidance in this field were reviewed at the May 2018 Guidelines Committee meeting and it was decided that revision of this guideline would be deferred for 1 year (May 2019). The version available on the website and app will remain valid until replaced.

Obstetric conditions associated with the need for blood transfusion may lead to morbidity and mortality if not managed correctly. The increasingly important issues in blood transfusion are adverse events associated with transfusion, including potential infection and potential transmission of prions, rising costs and the possible future problems of availability.

The aim of this guideline is to update the previous guidance about the appropriate use of blood products that neither compromises the affected woman nor exposes her to unnecessary risk. Strategies to maximise the haemoglobin (Hb) level at delivery as well as to minimise blood loss are also discussed.

Declaration of interests (guideline developers)

Dr L Green, Consultant Haematologist, NHS Blood and Transplant and Barts NHS Trust, London: None declared.

Dr C Connolly, Consultant Anaesthetist, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, Scotland: Dr Connolly is a trustee of registered Scottish Charity SC)41743 Scotland Malawi Anaesthesia, which is currently delivering a multidisciplinary obstetric emergencies course in three districts in Malawi. This work is funded by a grant from the Scottish Government International Development Fund.

Dr TK Cooper MRCOG, Livingston: None declared.

Dr G Cho, Consultant Haematologist, Central Middlesex Hospital: Dr Cho is a member of the National Blood Transfusion Committee and chairs the London Regional Transfusion Committee. He is a member of the British Committee for Standards in Haematology (BCSH) Transfusion Task Force.

Dr S Allard, Consultant Haematologist, NHS Blood and Transplant and Barts Health NHS Trust, London: None declared.