alloimmune blood transfusion reaction

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Allo-immunisation may result from transfusion with red cells that are of different phenotype to the patient. Also, with repeated transfusions, the recipient may develop antibodies to leucocytes and platelets in the transfused blood.

Allo-immunisation usually occurs from days to weeks after infusion:

  • 75% of Rh negative patients given Rh positive blood develop antibodies to Rh D
  • more than 10% of repeatedly transfused patients develop antibodies to white cells and/or platelets


  • avoid transfusion of Rh D positive blood to Rh D negative patients
  • use filtered blood from which the majority of leucocytes and platelets have been removed

Last reviewed 01/2018