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


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.

COVID disclaimer

This guideline was developed as part of the regular programme of Green-top Guidelines, as outlined in our document Developing a Green-top Guideline: Guidance for developers (PDF), and prior to the emergence of COVID-19.

Version history

This is the second edition of this guideline.

Please note that the RCOG Guidelines Committee regularly assesses the need to update the information provided in this publication. Further information on this review is available on request.

Developer declaration of interests

Dr L Green: None declared.
Dr C Connolly: 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: None declared.
Dr G Cho: 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: None declared.

This page was last reviewed 29 May 2015.