Feline transfusion medicine

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Blood transfusions have become an important component of feline intensive medical and surgical care. Feline blood transfusions are now often given in first-opinion practice. This chapter reviews the practical aspects of transfusion medicine in cats and covers feline blood donors; blood groups and typing; cross-matching; anticoagulant-preservative solutions; blood donation; preparation and storage of blood products; availability and use of blood banks; indications for blood transfusions; administration of whole blood and blood components; transfusion reactions and management; autotransfusion and preoperative autologous blood donation.

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35.1 Feline blood donation. Blood is collected by jugular venepuncture with the cat in sternal recumbency. Blood is taken via a plastic syringe that contains 1 ml of 3.13% sodium citrate per 9 ml of blood and which is connected to a 19-gauge butterfly needle. The syringe is rocked gently during blood collection.
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35.2 Feline blood donation. A 19-gauge butterfly needle is attached to a 60 ml syringe into which the anticoagulant–preservative solution has been drawn.
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35.3 For blood-banking purposes, a three-way stopcock is placed between the butterfly and the syringe, and a storage bag of 100 ml capacity is attached. After collecting the blood into the syringe, the stopcock is turned, and the blood is injected slowly into the storage bag.
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35.5 Blood that is collected in syringes can be transferred into 150 ml transfer bags.
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35.6 Feline blood transfusion. The transfusion is being administered with a special transfusion set with an incorporated microfilter, which removes blood clots and debris that could cause embolism.
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35.7 Human paediatric filter incorporating a 200 μm filter for transfusion of small volumes. In emergency cases an intravenous bolus injection with a syringe is possible (connected with a filter).
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